Sony is giving us a behind-the-scenes look into how Imageworks creates their spectacular VFX.

One of the coolest things about the modern VFX industry is the fact that companies are uploading their breakdowns online. You probably know about famous companies like ILM and Blur, but we just recently came across the Sony Imageworks YouTube channel and it’s just as cool. Below are just  a few of our favorite breakdowns from their channel. If you want to see more, I highly recommend checking out their YouTube page.

Men In Black 3

In this breakdown video, we get to see how much effort went into creating the finale of Men in Black 3, which takes place in Cape Canaveral. The scene is a great example of a smooth blend of practical and digital effects. It’s also super interesting to see that they sent a drone to Cape Canaveral to take reference footage that actually made it in the final film.

Another equally awesome example of Imageworks ingenuity in Men in Black is this Weasel breakdown. Essentially the artists had to completely map the hand of the actor. Then, after tracking was applied, they were able to integrate the 3D creature. 3D character animation is really where Imageworks shines.

The Amazing Spider Man 2

While The Amazing Spiderman 2 wasn’t necessarily the greatest movie, it was a fantastic example of breathtaking CGI. Imageworks did most of the VFX  for the movie and this awesome breakdown video gives us a comprehensive insight into how they were created.

Like I said before, character animation is really where Imageworks shines. This video shows us how they created animated villains for The Amazing Spider-Man 2.

Edge of Tomorrow

Imagesworks also had a hand in creating the coolest sci-fi monsters from the last five years in Edge of Tomorrow. It’s interesting to see how complex the Mimics movements were.

Smurfs 2

While we can’t speak to the actual story, the animation in Smurfs II was quite amazing. Perhaps the coolest example of animation came from Azrael the cat, who was simply a real cat with a fake mouth overlaid. The result is a seemingly photorealistic talking cat.

Animation Reel Tips from Sony

Perhaps the best video from the channel is this collection of amazing animation reel tips from the animation directors at Imageworks. The video includes a lot of really helpful tips. Here are a few.

  • Animate the thought process of the character.
  • Understand what the creature is thinking.
  • Put your best work first.
  • Clarity is important.
  • Keep it simple.
  • Create a reel for the job you want.
  • Don’t step on punchlines, you don’t need to have your character constantly moving.
  • Mix in animal and human behaviors.

If you’re interested in potentially applying for a job at Imageworks, you can see their full listing on their website.

You can see more awesome breakdown videos on Sony’s ImageworksVFX channel on YouTube.