Indiana Jones and the Quest for Improved Effects

The latest installment in the series promises to offer brilliant digitally-enhanced scenery and creatures

Computer-Generated Jungle

In this image released by Industrial Light & Magic, the final product of a scene using special effects is shown from the film "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull." (AP Photo/Industrial Light & Magic) ** NO SALES ** Industrial Light & Magic

Remember those weird ghoulish souls coming out of the Arc of the Covenant in the first Indy flick? Well, Hollywood has come a long way since then. And while Indiana Jones himself may have lost a step since he last appeared on the big screen, the effects backing him up this time promise to be a vast improvement. In Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, the fedora-wearing adventurer will encounter strange creatures, including an army of monkeys, race through some wild jungle scenery and face-down thousands of man-eating ants - thanks to Industrial Light & Magic.

All told, there are 450 effects shots in the movie. For comparison, that's three-quarters of the number in the movie Transformers, and that beauty was about giant fighting robots, whereas Indy follows an old dude with a whip. Why all the digital work? Well, there's a massive chase scene in a jungle, for example, and the filmmakers couldn't run their vehicles through an actual, virgin forest. So they shot in a sparse one, and ILM filled in the trees and leaves afterwards.