Visual effects pioneer, alumnus Jim Rygiel ('86), who won three Oscars for the Lord of the RIngs trilogy, supervised visual effects for Godzilla. Sixty years ago, Japanese audiences thrilled to the film debut of a massive monster that ravaged Tokyo with atomic breath, armored plates and a name that combined the Japanese words for "gorilla" and "whale": Gojira. Rygiel's team reinvented the famous Japanese monster using contemporary CG tools.
"The difference with these creatures that we pushed was their movement through the environment. So when they're fighting in the city, you'll notice as Godzilla swipes his arm, he swipes it through a cloud or fog bank or a dust cloud that he's swiping through vortexes off of his hand. It's to get that interactive environment happening amongst these creatures in the city. When you go on the streets, there's lots of atmosphere and smoke and things burning. We had to carry that to the top, and to do that kind of interaction with that digital smoke simulations is extremely difficult to make it look correct and keep the scale right, and now make it seem like he's moving his hand through cigarette smoke."