'Winds of War', Cinefex Magazine #95 October 2003
Date: October 4, 2003
By: Maurice Huijs and Vic van der Put
Thanx to: Gregg Shay for sending 2 copies for our review (and collection ;)
"The original Terminator movie created a movie icon. In T2 new Terminators and effects were created that went beyond the first; it was the first movie that managed to create a seamless marriage between animatronics, makeup and computer graphics. In T3, each of those technologies has gone further."
The first page of the magazine took our attention immediately. The head of the T800/T850 Endoskeleton of the T3 future war scene looks... well; dangerous. This high-tech machine leaves a big impression! Give or take a few words, the sentences above can be found at the beginning paragraph of the article... giving away a premise of the very detailed information found in the rest of the article. Interested in how the special effects of Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines were created? Then be sure to check it out. The article follows the movie 'scene by scene'... so if you've not yet seen the movie, we advice you to go see it first before reading the article. It's too spoiler sensitive!
With an article counting about 30 pages, you can imagine the details you'll be getting. Reading through the article we found some interesting items, containing info on the way otherwise expensive shots of the movie, were made with the simplest solutions. Ever heard of the usage of sand bags, apple crates, Band-Aids, G.I. Joe toys or even ping pong balls and chewing gum? No?! Neither did we, till we read the article. You are in for a real treat; we ourselves are impressed with the very detailed information given on the major movie making sources; fx, companies and studios, tricks, hardware and software.
You'll also learn some initial things about the creation of the three robots of T3; the T-850 (Arnold Schwarzenegger), the T-X (Kristanna Loken) and the T-1 unit, the first Terminator. There is so much inside information. Words like Automatrix, spid plate, spatial noise, reality-cam, mental ray, match-a-mation and even a reference to Homer Simpson are in the article. And the sentence "Filling a container with a velocity field and pouring particles into the currents" still boggles our mind. Insiders might know what they are talking about... but don't get scared (yet); this was the only sentence 'we did not get'. The rest is written in understandable language.
Above are just a few examples of the detailed information that can be found on the Makeup & Animatronics, Special Effects and Visual Effects of the movie... done by 13 companies, producing a total of 857 items, give or take few. Animations, effects, models, miniatures, (matte) paintings, photos, makeup-effects, CG ...and what not more is being explained. Not to mention the added 32 images, of which half of them are behind-to-scene and production photographs. These are sooo cool!
The article is also rich on information about used 3D programs, which all -in their own fields- are leaders in the professional movie making process. Maya, AutoCAD, Rhino3D... but also programs made by the FX studios themselves are referred to. Included in the magazine are advertisements of some of the involved studios, listings of people that helped to make the movie as it is today ...and much more you'll have to find out for yourself.
A very detailed article that is very interesting for both Terminator fans and FX gurus. The article uses extensive references to involved companies, people, software ...and has to our knowledge the best in-depth info on the (digital) effects and movie making process. The added photographs are a real treat and placed according to the subject matter.
If ever we could give a grade from 1 to 10... it's definitely a 11!
And we do mean e-l-e-v-e-n!