The Most Amazing, Difficult, And Gorgeous Special Effects Of 2014

VFX guru Paul Debevec talks about this year's best movie magic

'That's Impossible, Even For A Computer!'

The trench run briefing scene from Star Wars (1977) involved one of the first extensive digital renderings in Hollywood history.Lucasfilm

Great animation takes more than building the character with the highest pore-count or spending the most money on explosions. It takes science, artisanship, and rigorous attention to detail. Computer graphics researcher Paul Debevec ought to know—his work has been used to create movies like The Matrix and Avatar. We spoke to Debevec about his favorite motion picture innovations from the past year. Click through as we dive into the techniques used in eight great new movies.

Boxtrolls

Old and new technologies came together to make this one of the best-looking films for young audiences in years. Read the full story here.Laika Entertainment

Maleficent

How do you turn a human actor into a pixie? It's harder than you might think.Disney

Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes

Here's what it took to put humans and apes together on screen in the most amazing motion-capture movie to date.Chernin Entertainment

The Tale Of The Princess Kaguya

This hand-drawn film has even the digital geniuses blown away.Studio Ghibli

Birdman

How do you make a two-hour film feel like an overwhelming, unbroken stream of consciousness?New Regency Pictures

The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies

The latest and final installment of The Hobbit pushes the boundaries of what's possible in cinema.New Line Cinema

Interstellar

You can't talk special effects without talking about the most epic motion picture of 2014.Syncopy/Paramont Pictures

Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Read why this shot involved one of the most innovative uses of CGI this year.Marvel