See how Cinesite's VFX transformed scenes in The Monuments Men

Cinesite gives us a behind the scenes look at the visual effects work that went into new The Monuments Men film.


Visual effects company Cinesite has given us a glimpse behind the scenes on The Monuments Men, showing how it transformed the look of several scenes in the new World War II movie directed by George Clooney.

Cinesite VFX Supervisor for the film Jon Neill worked with The Monuments Men's overall production VFX Supervisor Angus Bickerton on several sequences, including an impressive scene that shows Campbell, played by Bill Murray, turning on the lights in an underground salt mine to reveal hidden treasures (right).

To create that particular sequence, Cinesite used photogrammetry reference of the objects that were on set to create models, which were laid out in a Maya scene and lighting rig.

"An image was rendered from a fully ray-traced, global illuminated scene with all the lights switched on," Cinesite explains in a press release. "The team set up a script in Nuke where light passes could illuminate the background in any order, by bringing through the beauty pass and adding proper directional shadows. In the final shot, the flickering light gradually reveals the depths of the cavern."

Use the slideshow controls above and right to find out how Cinesite applied VFX to other scenes in The Monuments Men, and take a closer look at the results.

This shot (right), filmed on the Aachen set of an old refinery, required houses and cafes to be removed from the background, replaced by newly destroyed ruins and piles of rubble created using photogrammetry reference.

Cinesite used Modo to create a fully computer generated scene that shows the destroyed city merging into forest and hills. This scene was then rendered in 3D to give a sense of parallax.


Other scenes transformed by Cinesite VFX include shots filmed at Shrivenham airfield and environments around the partially destroyed Aachen Cathedral.

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Right: Cinesite also helped create the sky in a flying scene.


Right: A closer look at the CG elements of salt mine (top) and destroyed city (bottom) scenes.