VFX Notes: Volker Engel on ‘Godzilla’

The visual effects supervisor re-visits the many practical and digital challenges on the 1998 film.

This week, VFX Notes chats to Godzilla visual effects supervisor Volker Engel about the 1998 Roland Emmerich film. Hugo and Ian caught up with Engel at FMX 2022.

befores & afters previously revisited Godzilla with Engel for this in-depth article on several aspects of the production, including the extensive work carried out by Godzilla designer and supervisor Patrick Tatopoulos. Several images in that story feature Tatopoulos’ creations (and you can see the designer’s sixth scale Godzilla upper torso in the feature image to this blog post. Photo by Isabella Vosmikova, © 1998 Tristar Pictures).

This podcast is sponsored by ftrack and ActionVFX.

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Run down

00:00 – sponsors
00:55 – the Podcast starts
01:17 – FMX 2022
02:19 – Godzilla from 1998
05:47 – that museum trailer before MIB in 1997
07:54 – miniatures of the museum
08:52 – the alternative trailer
09:34 – ILM inspiration
10:45 – the state of play of compositing at the time
12:48 – the main VFX studios on the film
13:22 – Andy R.Jones and Godzilla falling
14:43 – Godzilla falls on the bridge
17:43 – what compositing software did you use?
18:35 – the complexity of live-action, practical and CG at the time
19:42 – slow motion means a lot of film stock!
21:21 – review process
23:35 – what resolution was the CG created in?
25:36 – the recent 4K Bluray
26:12 – the NY miniatures
28:23 – Godzilla approaches the harbour
31:51 – the first claw shots
32:51 – challenging tracking shots
34:25 – Godzilla babies
39:51 – that amazing BluRay commentary with the VFX team
40:55 – Patreon and Members credits

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