FX Review

FLUBBER - FX Credits - FX Review - Behind the Scenes - Stills

Containing close to 600 effects shots, FLUBBER continues the trend of big budget, visual effects extravaganzas hitting US theatres screens this fall. The title character, the anamorphous green glob of goo would be realized completely via computer generated animation, never seen as a physical effect. This total devotion to CG to characterize Flubber led to some interesting and dazzling visual effects for the film. The other major chunk of effects appear as Robin Williams Flubberizes his vintage Thunderbird, flying it into the night sky in a number of complicated sequences, as well as countless wire removal and composites surrounding Weebo the robot, and dozens of wire removal shots of the basketball sequences.

To realize the floating robot companion of the Professor, a mechanical robot operated by puppeteers was used on set, and all the rigs and operators were digitally erased from the frame. The removal of these rigs are completely invisible, even in complicated shots where elements pass in front of the operators. Audiences will never realize the countless removal shots that appear in the film.

For Weebo sequences that simply could not be performed by a physical operator, two techniques were used, both with success. A mechanical Weebo was sometimes shot against a bluescreen and composited into an empty plate, and a CG model was created an animated by Dream Quest Images for other shots. Some of the fine CG/bluescreen shots include one where Weebo flies down a flight of stairs, and various moving camera shots where Weebo flies over the Professor's equipment. In nearly every case, the background lighting matches the composited Weebo precisely, as do the complicated camera moves.

In one particular camera move, just after Williams inserts a radioactive isotope into a protective container, the composited Weebo wiggles and proper perspective is momentarily lost during the crane camera move; but besides that shot, the Weebo convinvingly appears in all of her shots.

In a very strange sequence, Weebo creates a holographic projection of herself in human form, which walks up some stairs to Williams' bedroom. The creation of the hologram features some neat particle effects, and the projection itself, complete with some glitches and twitches is visually interesting.

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FLUBBER - FX Credits - FX Review - Behind the Scenes - Stills

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