You already know the dinosaurs in Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (and every other Jurassic Park movie before that) obviously have the DNA of practical and visual effects. Having real sauropods not just on camera, but actually existing, isn’t scientifically possible, no matter what Dr. Henry Wu says. What you didn’t know was that Isla Nublar is just about as real as all those velociraptors.
VFX studio Image Engine has just put out a mind-blowing video that reveals how they made Fallen Kingdom explode. To the unaware, the aerial view of Isla Nublar seems like this is footage of an actual island that may have had smoke added digitally, because, you know, a film crew would be literally throwing themselves into a potential fire pit by flying above a smoking volcano that could erupt at any second. But this isn’t a volcano. In fact, it isn’t even an island. Just watch.
Image Engine started with a sunken island on a remote patch of ocean where there are no signs of life, prehistoric or otherwise. Meaning even all that lush greenery may not be plastic, but it’s still fake. They first layered on the flatter parts of the island as a base. High-elevation ridges covered in exotic foliage were added for textural effect, and then the dormant volcano that wouldn’t stay asleep for long, which is why they made it believable with ominous gray smoke billowing from its mouth.
The wreckage of the eruption is made of the same stuff as the island. No one was actually running from flaming chunks of rock falling from the sky and pounding the concrete. The actors were running, but layered effects were worked into those scenes to make it appear as if the air was thick with smoke, it was raining debris, and someone was about to have their skull crushed.
Visual effects also merged with practical effects to make animatronic dinosaurs appear more real. While Blue might have already seemed alive enough with several puppeteers moving her every limb and claw behind the scenes, she got a digital facelift that makes her scaly skin almost tangible — even onscreen.