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Luma Pictures Talk Alien: Covenant Special Effects

Brendan Seals, one of Luma Pictures visual effects supervisors sat down to chat with vfxblog about their work on Alien: Covenant. Luma Pictures was responsible for a series of visual effects in Alien: Covenant that includes the motes flying into Ledward’s ear, the strange Engineer lights found inside the Citadel, the graphics on Covenant’s cryopods and burning James Franco in his sleep!

“Their [the motes] initial ideas were very much about dandelion seeds and in terms of movement the murmuration of flocking of starlings was a big inspiration. The idea being that these dots on the screen, they’re quite insignificant. They’re featureless dots, they don’t really have a silhouette or shape per se because they’re supposed to be mysterious. But by congealing it and forming some sort of silhouette you get the sense that their numbers are greater in a team, in a sequence, rather than on their own merit. And by being as a group they can achieve a much more sinister goal, let’s say.”

 Luma Pictures Talk Alien: Covenant Special Effects

Brendan goes into some detail about the specific scenes and it’s quite an interesting read. Head on over to vfxblog to learn more about Luma Picture’s involvement with Alien: Covenant!

Keep a close eye on Alien vs. Predator Galaxy for the latest on Alien: Covenant! You can follow us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram to get the latest on your social media walls. You can also join in with fellow Alien fans on our forums!



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Comments: 6
  1. MnTd
    acrediblesource posted:
    "You`re being overtly harsh for CGI that looks like its from a TLC documentary.They made Serious CGI that doesnt looks fake too, i don`t believe cartoony is the word you`re looking for and you need a better set of vocabulary (id punch you in the face for real), it looks understandable, logical, and pretty darn detailed if you ask any one. Unless it was glowing red to indicate heart burn with fire and explosions, then we got something that ultimately illustrates something without looking like a saturday morning cartoon. THe DICK on you for expressing yr opinion like a  child."

    It's almost impossible to decypher this post.

    Since Metallicon is the person who used the phrase "cartoon-like", I can only assume it's in response to him.
    Yet... Metallicon's post is very fair and not harsh whatsoever.
    He simply states that the CGI ear spores is the first sceen that took him out of the film and that it was fake looking,
    which it was. My post was far more harsh and imho, the people making crap CGI need harsh because I'm personally sick
    of crappy, cartoonish CGI ruining movies. I wish they'd save it for the PG-13 Marvel/DC crowd, that's where it belongs.

    It appears as if the poster is defending the CGI in the movie, yet he compares it to a TLC documentary to do so? WTF?

    His/her punctuation and sentence structure is child like, yet he accuses Metallicon of expressing his opinion like a child.
    "THe DICK on you for expressing yr opinion like a child." ?!?! WTF?

    He uses pointless, violent threats - "id punch you in the face for real" - ALSO WTF DUDE?!?!

    The point of an effect is not simply to "illustrate" something. It's to seemlessly blend with the other scenes in the movie
    and not stick out. It's not a book, it's a movie. Movies are viscereal. Just because you get an idea across doesn't mean
    it's good. There are many ways to illustrate an idea but in a Ridley Scott ALIEN film, we expect a certain level of excellence.
    We did not receive this level of excellence, hence, disappointment.
  2. acrediblesource
    You`re being overtly harsh for CGI that looks like its from a TLC documentary.They made Serious CGI that doesnt looks fake too, i don`t believe cartoony is the word you`re looking for and you need a better set of vocabulary (:0), it looks understandable, logical, and pretty darn detailed if you ask any one. Unless it was glowing red to indicate heart burn with fire and explosions, then we got something that ultimately illustrates something without looking like a saturday morning cartoon.
  3. MnTd
    metallicon: EXACTLY. It looked AWFUL. It is so obviously superimposed.
    There are many ways CGI sucks. Almost all 3D rendered objects suck. Superimposing fake things
    on top of real things also sucks. It was totally unnecessary to show this shot, especially when it looks
    so fake. ALIEN COVENENANT just dropped huge for this second week. Of course, Ridley and MGM are
    going to come up with reasons which are not the real reasons for why this is so but had they just done
    the film with the sensibilities ALIEN was done with... Sensibilities they seem to have lost... It would have
    cleaned up at the box office. Every interview with Ridley is like he's poo pooing the old, traditional f/x in
    ALIEN but this modern crap is not the way to go. The old f/x still hold up damn well. Even the brief shot of
    the ALIEN when it's walking towards Lambert is awesome and it was just a model. In fact, it's probably my
    favorite shot of the creature in the entire series.

    On a good note, maybe the negative reviews and fact it's dropping quick at the box office will make Ridley
    recut the damn thing and release a better version on the Bluray! 8)

    LUMA PICTURES - Working to pull you out of the picture -
    In charge of pointless, fake looking CGI fire and fake looking super imposed cgi spores!
  4. cucuchu
    I think the effects when they go into his ear was probably the first effect that actually took me out of the film.  It looked too fake, and I didn't really like the sense that these "spores" or whatever they were had a mind of their own, which is how it was portrayed in terms of movement.  The effect itself is cool, but I don't think it fits into the film tonally - almost too cartoon-like I would say.

    To each their own. I thought that shot was quite well done and never got a sense that they had a mind of their own, at least no more than a Venus fly trap. I thought the spores were just pulsing to the nearest center of warmth which happened to be inside our prize winner's ear canal. I can see where you are coming from with it maybe being a bit cartoon but I don't feel it took anything from the movie.
  5. metallicon
    I think the effects when they go into his ear was probably the first effect that actually took me out of the film.  It looked too fake, and I didn't really like the sense that these "spores" or whatever they were had a mind of their own, which is how it was portrayed in terms of movement.  The effect itself is cool, but I don't think it fits into the film tonally - almost too cartoon-like I would say.
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