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The Predator VFX Supervisor Talks The Predator Killer & More!

Last week Matt Sloan, the visual effects supervisor for The Predator, sat down to talk to Art of VFX about all the visual effects work that took place on The Predator! Sloan talks about a lot of the details of the film’s visual effects.

Art of VFX also asked him about the controversial Predator Killer suit from the film’s end. As most of us have already predicted, it was a very last minute addition that was designed by Aaron Sims company and brought to life by Hydraulx (of AvP Requiem).

The final scene was another reshoot, very, very late in the schedule. We had two weeks to get the suit designed. We enlisted the Aaron Sims company and also the Hydraulx Art Dept. The final design was elements from both companies approved by Shane and the studio, then Hydraulx took over the design and began the build. By the time we had the re-shoots, we were less than two weeks out from delivery, so getting the design finale and the build underway was critical.

As the other vendors were going so hard on the other sequences we approached Hydraulx to complete the final sequence. Under the supervision of Colin Strause they managed to pull out the 17 shots needed for that sequence in under 2 weeks. I think it was 9 days from plate turnover to final delivery. It was pretty amazing work. We knew we would have 1 if any, iterations, so it was bit of a hail mary. But Hydraulx managed to pull it off and both the director and studio were very happy with the work.

 The Predator VFX Supervisor Talks The Predator Killer & More!

In addition to talking about the approach taken when filming the Upgrade Predator, Sloan also discussed the cloaking effects used in the film. Sloan described the difference between the Fugitive’s and the Upgrade’s as the latter’s being more “intimate“:

We actually kept this pretty simple. For Pred 1 and McKenna’s invisibility, we more or less just updated the original effect. We just made it a little sexier. Like in the last 30 yours their tech has got better. From Motorola flip phone to iPhone sort of feel. The Upgrade has a more intimate effect, with some very designed geometric shapes that spread over his body. MPC and supervisor Richard Little were responsible for all things involving the Upgrade, so they took point on the design and implementation of the cloaking effect.

Sloan also revealed that they didn’t shoot the infa-red sequences using a IR camera, instead it was adjustments made during post-production.

We cheated! We were going to get a Flir Camera, but it needed too much support. In the end we roto’d and color treated the plates to create the iconic “Heat Vision” look. If you look at them strictly from a heat point of view you’ll see they are not consistent. But they look good! Also, at one point the Upgrade uses echo location to pin-point someone behind a tree. This was an entire CG shot where we see what looks like a combination of heat vision and lidar, basically. There were another couple of these shots in the film, but they got cut for pacing reasons. But we kept one!

 The Predator VFX Supervisor Talks The Predator Killer & More!

When the effects supervisor was asked about his favourite memories of working on The Predator, he revealed it was reviewing the footage with Shane Black and in finding out just how much gore was too much gore!

When you throw reality out the window and just go for it. The vendors were being reserved, and we were always crying “More blood!”. I ended up using the term “Just take it to 11” a LOT. The over the top gore was something Shane loved. Eventually MPC submitted a shot with an unstoppable geyser of blood pouring from a victim, and Shane said “OK… maybe that’s too much….”. I actually sent an email to all vendors saying that we have finally figured out how much is too much (It was a lot).

Be sure to head on over to Art of VFX to check out the entire interview! Thanks to John Chambers for the tip!

Keep checking in with Alien vs. Predator Galaxy for the latest on The Predator! You can follow us on FacebookTwitter, Instagram and YouTube to get the latest on your social media walls. You can also join in with fellow Alien and Predator fans on our forums!



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Comments: 67
« Newer Comments 12 Older Comments »
  1. skull-splitter
    Another generic nope. Most creature and suit effects these days lack personality, regardless how well designed and executed they are. The brief was to be fresh, the execution came to be different by omitting what predators where about in terms of character design.
  2. brokentusk420
    Jeezus, more trash from what was already a trashy movie. This truly could have been a lot worse.

    I don't know.
    Predators are not certainly about being good looking or trendy, and so a space suit doesn't work in my mind.

    My sentiments exactly.

    The one thing I love about Predators is their tribal ascetic and that their bleeding edge technology incorporates an ancient design which does not emulate the human equivalent of high-tech i.e. smooth and shiny metalic surfaces.

    That's why I prefer the Predator ship interior in "Predator 2" and thoroughly reject the ship used in AvP.

    This right here. He gets it, everything after predator 2  has been a design disaster. Especially the iron-man Pred design we just got. There is zero imagination in it. Just an amalgamation of marvel and video game crap that someone adores. No consideration for what came before and what's been established in the true canon of the first two
     films. 
  3. Voodoo Magic
    A Predator without his fishnets would be an outrage!

    It's funny how most descriptions of the Predator fishnets describe it as being used for warmth.  Not that I doubt that's their intended purpose, but seriously, how much "warmth" can those things add?  There are giant holes all over the place!

    I think it make sense if they function like an automobile backglass, rear-windshield/windscreen defroster/defogger, where the netting is made of resistive conductors and when power is applied, the conductors heat up.
  4. Wysps
    A Predator without his fishnets would be an outrage!

    It's funny how most descriptions of the Predator fishnets describe it as being used for warmth.  Not that I doubt that's their intended purpose, but seriously, how much "warmth" can those things add?  There are giant holes all over the place!
  5. Wysps
    Well, I can't imagine Predators don't have some sort of coverall space suit that they use when they're travelling. Almost every other media has showed them in a suit, so I wouldn't exactly be 'offended' if it made it to the films.  But not necessary in my opinion.  Have to admit though, these are somewhat unimaginative (save for the Doom Slayer chest piece :laugh:). 

    I don't know.
    Predators are not certainly about being good looking or trendy, and so a space suit doesn't work in my mind.

    Neither we've ever seen a predator wearing one. From my point of view it would not add anything good to him apart criticism. Does they even need it in a..what..5th film?
    The focus must be his lust for blood, the restless hunting of his pray (and playing with her), his ruthelsness. Make predator scary again!
    A bunch of guys trying to outjoke each other with some predator on steroids running around is not what people desires. Well..sorry for going OT but I had to say it, again. :)
     
    Right on.
  6. Voodoo Magic
    I don't know.
    Predators are not certainly about being good looking or trendy, and so a space suit doesn't work in my mind.

    My sentiments exactly.

    The one thing I love about Predators is their tribal ascetic and that their bleeding edge technology incorporates an ancient design which does not emulate the human equivalent of high-tech i.e. smooth and shiny metalic surfaces.

    That's why I prefer the Predator ship interior in "Predator 2" and thoroughly reject the ship used in AvP.
  7. Axe
    I don't know.
    Predators are not certainly about being good looking or trendy, and so a space suit doesn't work in my mind.

    Neither we've ever seen a predator wearing one. From my point of view it would not add anything good to him apart criticism. Does they even need it in a..what..5th film?
    The focus must be his lust for blood, the restless hunting of his pray (and playing with her), his ruthelsness. Make predator scary again!
    A bunch of guys trying to outjoke each other with some predator on steroids running around is not what people desires. Well..sorry for going OT but I had to say it, again. :)
  8. SiL
    I like the redesigned netting -- that's something I'd like to see in future movies.

    But the rest of that armour is just so generic. I know the guy was on a time limit but it looks straight out of every sci-fi soldier game in the last 20 years.
  9. Corporal Hicks
    Some more concepts from Constantine Sekeris, including a Predator spacesuit!

    Quote
    Here r some early Predator Armor exploration Martin Whist Production Designer had me quickly explore for Shane Black and to help give more options to the Costume Designer ........one version is a sleeker cleaner spacesuit option and the other is referencing the original 80s design with modifications with out any accessories like his helmet,guantlets,shoulder gun,tubes,skulls,ect......had to do these pretty quickly so didnt have time to refine any details or pose them.....none of these made it into the film...but was allot of fun exploring different designs.

    https://cdna.artstation.com/p/assets/images/images/014/010/572/large/constantine-sekeris-predator-1-space-suit-01a.jpg?1542068693

    https://www.artstation.com/artwork/VdgXDN
  10. roc84
    https://www.ibc.org/production/interview-harry-miller-editor/3411.article

    I haven't read it yet.

    This interview with one of the editors provides some insight into the studio using an utterly flawed test screening process to dictate the creative direction of the movie.

    Quote
    Working with the VFX and CGI made it “fun and interesting” for the entire team, Miller explains. However, audience testing often delivered different results from the decisions made by the creative talents responsible for cutting the feature film.

    “Green screens and proxy actors for digital characters don’t offer the audience an authentic experience about what the movie is doing and the nature of the studio system means you can get negative reactions which is frustrating,” he adds.
  11. Lotus
    I believe Kyle Strauts was using an M249.

    Thanks,not doubting though I'm not a military expert,but it doesn't look like M249?

    https://www.avpgalaxy.net/forum/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fnews.toyark.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2Fsites%2F4%2F2018%2F10%2FPrime-1-Fugitive-Predator-Statue-019.jpg&hash=637c8702ea42eabfb47b26f732ff352f

    I think Hicks is talking about the deleted scenes of the Emmissaries on the APC

    Yeah,make sense 
  12. BigDaddyJohn
    I believe Kyle Strauts was using an M249.

    Thanks,not doubting though I'm not a military expert,but it doesn't look like M249?

    https://www.avpgalaxy.net/forum/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fnews.toyark.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2Fsites%2F4%2F2018%2F10%2FPrime-1-Fugitive-Predator-Statue-019.jpg&hash=637c8702ea42eabfb47b26f732ff352f

    I think Hicks is talking about the deleted scenes of the Emmissaries on the APC
  13. Johnny Handsome
    It's a paradox I tell you. It just covered 2 movies in one. What on earth could come next?
    Predators hunting americans/nazis in WW2, with them having a key role in the outcome of the war. This could also be a nice way to re-change the designs to a more tribal/vintage style.
    Predators hunting in Vietnam
    Predators hunting ancient warriors in Egypt
    Predators hunting pirates (P2 flintlock)

    Even with Stargazer i think there are really cool ways to tell a new story without the Predator killer, more focused on an actual team capturing a Predator by surprise during a hunt... with them getting to the Predator spaceship, which then flies back home, there they have to face and fight different Alien species with the last survivor and biggest warrior being worthy enough to fight against an elder Predator.

    The core story is always a hunt, and with that there are endless possibilities for really good movies, even on a smaller scale action/horror.
  14. Voodoo Magic
    One would be tempted to say this was the Predator version of Alien 3, due to the studio interference and production issues. However, given the crazy nature of the film/creatures and the comedy, could this not be considered the Predator version of Alien: Resurrection?

    That's a fair assessment. "The Predator" seems to contain a culmination of parallels with both "Alien 3" and "Alien Resurrection".  Plus, the Upgrade Predator can certainly be compared to the Newborn Alien on a species blending angle, as well as its mutual reception i.e. the ruffling feathers of fans.
  15. Huggs
    One would be tempted to say this was the Predator version of Alien 3, due to the studio interference and production issues. However, given the crazy nature of the film/creatures and the comedy, could this not be considered the Predator version of Alien: Resurrection?

    It's a paradox I tell you. It just covered 2 movies in one. What on earth could come next?

    Straight to a Prometheus Predator perhaps? An exploration of a long dead Predator Homeworld?
  16. XenoHunter99
    I feel bad for the SFX people. From the article, they broke the teeth off the gears to do whatever they were asked to do on this one. Thanks to the tug-o-war between Shane and the studio, they were pulling something out of nothing until the very end. For all that, it's like it's their fault the result is what it is. I think they did their best under ridiculous conditions. As designs go, the Predkiller is ok. It's obviously like a pred-flavored ironman suit or Transformer. If it turns up as an action figure, I want one. Used better in the story, it might have got a better reception. Or maybe all-dancing armored suits have worn out their welcome. I'd like to see a director's cut at some point. Might be interesting to compare and contrast.
  17. Voodoo Magic
    While that would be super nice of them, I doubt Predators would create a key for humans to decode their language.  Rory would have to in essense create a key based on breaking down the hud imagery and the language associated with it. Then use that as his basis to decode.

    Then again, the Fugitive was here to give us a weapon that we could use to fight back with, so maybe there was in fact a key!

    Then again again, I think we're really not meant to think that hard about it.  :P
  18. Highland
    You guys are right of course. My brain momentarily went into shut down mode thinking about the ridiculous ending.

    I thought the boy said "it says Predator Killer" , he doesn't , he says "it roughly translates as".

    Yes , I have a dodgy version also.
  19. SiL
    No traeger says "we had a vote , and Predator sounds cooler" That means they made that name up.
    Common name in English.

    Quote
    So Traeger managed to nickname the Predator what the Predator also called itself in its own language and that's also Predator?! Maybe I'm missing something here.
    You are. I'm really, really not sure how you're not getting this? It's not difficult.

    The humans have decided to call them Predators, so when Rory reads whatever word Predators use to refer to themselves in their language, he translates it into "Predator" in English because that's what humans have decided to call them. That doesn't mean the word is actually "Predator" in their language.

    I'm sure dolphins wouldn't refer to themselves as "dolphins", but if we could translate their language, we'd translate the series of clicks and chirps they'd use to refer to themselves as "dolphins" because that's what we call them in English.

    EDIT

    And yes, he does translate it. He reads it off the screen.
  20. Highland
    There would be a word that the Predators use to refer to themselves, which Rory would translate to English as "Predator", as it's their (apparently) common name.

    No traeger says "we had a vote , and Predator sounds cooler" That means they made that name up.

    So Traeger managed to nickname the Predator what the Predator also called itself in its own language and that's also Predator?! Maybe I'm missing something here.

    Edit: Actually he doesn't translate it does he, he just makes his own version of what he thinks it says. Gawd damn that ending. The Predator Killer  :laugh: :laugh: :'(
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