Some fun posts on the visual effects technique
The Rise of Skywalker production designer Kevin Jenkins today posted on his Twitter page a fantastic image of the miniature Jawa Sandcrawler used for one of the final shots in the film.
The approached relied on forced perspective, a technique for filming characters or objects with essentially ‘in-camera’ compositing, by placing them closer or further away from the camera lens and therefore making them appear bigger or larger in the frame.
Jenkins mentioned the miniature was “placed on a dressed table at height and the Jawa extras were shot at the same time a calculated distance back from the mini. A very fine powdery sand was dressed around for scale. We even made a roller to make mini track prints!”
In the spirit of Jenkins’ post (and you should read his whole account for more on this and other aspects of the film), I thought I’d take a quick look on Twitter for other mentions of forced perspective miniatures. Here are some below. You can also get a good handle on how forced perspective works with this post by editor Vashi Nedomansky.
The smallest set I made for #StarWars #TheRiseOfSkywalker . Built and painted by the UK Art Department over 8 weeks by just two of my team. I then drove all over the Jordan desert with Art Director Claire Flemming looking for places to film it. Love Miniatures 🙂 pic.twitter.com/AJyJdMZFbl
— kevin jenkins (@kev_jenkins) January 25, 2020
🎥 FORCED PERSPECTIVE SHOT 🎥
Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977)
20-foot model boat in foreground
actors & helicopters 1/4 mile away
wide lens practical in-camera shot
more: https://t.co/6GDWiiKv6z#Spielberg #filmmaking pic.twitter.com/Fn6PSqrSO2
— Vashi Nedomansky, ACE (@vashikoo) February 21, 2019
THE WOLF OF WALL STREET (2013)
This forced perspective miniature helicopter
shot is a classic in-camera practical effect. pic.twitter.com/LOLabmVa2t
— Vashi Nedomansky, ACE (@vashikoo) September 13, 2018
— Vashi Nedomansky, ACE (@vashikoo) August 25, 2017
— Vashi Nedomansky, ACE (@vashikoo) January 11, 2014
— Todd Vaziri: The Return of Michael Myers (@tvaziri) September 10, 2017
This frame is all in-camera.
Forced perspective skulls & rear projection.
My dating app profile. pic.twitter.com/QmGPGeKVAc
— Will McCrabb (@mccrabb_will) June 12, 2016
The church In the background was a forced perspective miniature standing only 4 feet. pic.twitter.com/EXBHKhRS8k
— Will McCrabb (@mccrabb_will) October 20, 2018
There was no CGI in Coppola's DRACULA but in-camera FX's like this 13ft force perspective diary & miniature train. pic.twitter.com/3ywyQLnroc
— Will McCrabb (@mccrabb_will) October 6, 2015
The bus was a hanging force perspective miniature. pic.twitter.com/qtJlBV4u1o
— Will McCrabb (@mccrabb_will) February 25, 2018
In this shot from WRATH OF KAHN Kirk and Spock are real but the entire set is a force perspective hanging miniature. pic.twitter.com/4AaxLpxjh3
— Will McCrabb (@mccrabb_will) March 24, 2015
For the last 25 years, Michael Paul Smith has spent some of his spare and much of his professional time making miniature models and photographing them, using optical illusions and forced perspective to make them look real https://t.co/PbkZ4e4lN4 pic.twitter.com/FtRnAbbd5x
— Massimo (@Rainmaker1973) August 8, 2019
— Humanoid History (@HumanoidHistory) May 20, 2017
The whole scene was created using a forced-perspective miniature built on a 15ft x 8ft table. The detail comes mainly from rows and rows of acid-etched brass silhouettes created from photos taken of towers, pipes, tubes, and other industrial skylines. pic.twitter.com/7yw92N5Ouo
— Quintin Lake (@QuintinLake) January 6, 2020
the cliff at the end of tremors was a miniature and the last shot in this gif where u can see kevin bacons character standing on the cliff is actually a forced perspective shot. so the mini cliff was placed close to the camera w/ the character on a scaffold back in the distance. pic.twitter.com/nJX77hW9EI
— R.W. Martin (@BadIdeasMovie) September 21, 2019
Whole shot was forced perspective. Actors were in a small set in the foreground and they built a giant sized bedroom in the background. When the Zombie dude fell, they did a single cut and matched the edit with the “miniature demons” in the giant background set. pic.twitter.com/QO7uKpNXjK
— Matt (@themattprov) August 17, 2019
One of my fave #JamesBond effects, in THE LIVING DAYLIGHTS (1987), by John Richardson. There's a real bridge here, which men on horseback are riding across, but what we're seeing is a forced perspective miniature (4½ft high, 23ft from the camera) of a much more elaborate bridge. pic.twitter.com/OnoDcNN4jx
— The man with the hat is back. (@Dene71) October 5, 2019
Have you seen others like this? Let me know and I’ll add them.