Cinema would not be the same without special effects. We have recently learned what movies look like with and without them, and the difference is quite considerable. Just look at some images to get an idea.
To a large extent, we must attribute these amazing results to the chroma, the coloured fabrics, usually green or blue, located at the back of the recording studios. But these tools may be about to “retire.” Although its fruits are great and its possibilities, almost infinite, technology has found an even better technique.
Advantages Compared to Chroma
Its name is Stagecraft, and it is basically huge LED screens that replace the chrome at the end of the stage. This coincidence in location is not fortuitous: its function is to set the plot, behind the actors and the action. But while the chroma is static elements, which the post-production team has to work on later, the new technique is dynamic and reproduces images live and in real-time; what supposes diverse advantages.
Among them, one of the most significant is that actors can get better into the role they play. By being surrounded by the stage in question while acting, it is easier for the scene to envelop you and plunge you into fiction.
Another advantage is the visualization of the result. With Stagecraft it is instantaneous: during the recording, you already know the result of the final images and how they are combined with the plot. On the other hand, with the chrome, you have to wait for the post-production work to do it. Without a doubt, a difference that the professionals who work on it appreciate and appreciate.
The Mandalorian special effects are made with this technique
Why are we now talking about these LED screens that replace the chroma? It is not a technology created this year or last. However, its popularity has recently increased due to the well-known television seriesThe Mandalorian, which has been used to create its special effects.
They have used three giant LED screens, one of them for the ceiling. Its measurements are 6 meters high and 23 wide. But, in addition to their size, they are slightly curved, so they can surround the actors well. Equipped with a high 4K resolution, they can project extensions of objects that are physically in the studio and that the viewer does not notice the difference.
In its specific case, the creation of the images has been possible thanks to the Unreal Engine 4 graphics engine, developed by the Epic Games studio, author of well-known video games, such as Fornite, among many others. With it, they can adjust the image to the needs.
Other Films That Have Used it
Before the first season of The Mandalorian, the films Ad Astra and First Man also used it, albeit on a smaller scale. Curiously, the two are set in space. The next film that has announced its use is The Batman, starring Robert Pattinson and that will be released in June 2021.
It’s Precedent: Rear Projection
Where are you from? We have to go back to the 1930s. Then, and for several decades, some films used a technique called ” rear projection “, which consisted of placing the actors in front of a screen, which reproduced the images.
A well-known example of its use is the movie With Death on His Heels, starring Cary Grant. In an iconic scene from the film, the actor falls to the ground to avoid being run over by an aeroplane, which was actually being played on a screen.
Advances in technology have allowed this technique to evolve to the current giant LED screens, which are capable of reproducing the image with amazing clarity and adapting it to the needs of shooting.
Now that they have risen to fame and we know their results, surely more movies and series are beginning to take advantage of it.