The VFX secrets of 2015's Oscar contenders

It's official! The Oscar nominations have just been announced ahead of Hollywood most important ceremony, on Sunday 22 February.

You can see the list in full here on our sister site (though be ready for a shock: The Lego Movie has been cruelly snubbed). But what we're most interested in at Creative Bloq are the nominations for best visual effects. Here we reveal the five contenders in this fiercely competitive category, and where you can learn the secrets of how they were made...

01. Guardians Of The Galaxy

Guardians of the Galaxy made us fall in love with a talking racoon

The comical adventures of five self-described 'losers', including a racoon and a talking tree, Guardians of the Galaxy was the guilty pleasure of last summer, and the VFX Oscar nomination is hugely deserved. In this exclusive interview, we speak to Kyle McCulloch about how Framestore brought a space city to life and made a talking racoon believable. You can also discover how leading previsualisation company Proof put together the conceptual work in this article and MPC reveal how they created the talking tree Groot here.

02. Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes

Motion capture rose to new heights with the latest in the Apes franchise

The sequel to 2011's Rise of the Planet of the Apes told the story of the early stages of a clash for survival between humans and apes after an apocalyptic virus has devastated the world's population. Intensely dramatic, it put motion capture techniques to work in a way that had never been seen before. In this interview, we chat to Weta's animation supervisor Dan Barrett about how Peter Jackson's studio pulled it off.

03. Captain America: The Winter Soldier

The Cap was back, and more badass than ever

One of the biggest movie events of 2014 saw all-American superhero Captain America return to the big screen, bringing with him some explosive visual effects. Packed to the rim with thunderous set-pieces, from high-energy car chases to heli-jet scrambles, this was a comic-book movie to keep any action fan happy. We spoke to Monty Granito, supervisor at Proof, to find out more about how the biggest VFX scenes in the movie were conceptualised.

04. X-Men: Days Of Future Past

The X-Men franchise seems unstoppable, with these weird time-travelling entry into the series uniting both young and old versions of the superhero crew in one adventure. Trying to get your head around all the temporal paradoxes may have been challenging, but there was plenty of incredible CG action to take your mind off it. Check out the revealing VFX breakdown above, courtesy of MPC, who were lead studio on the movie.

05. Interstellar

Double Negative helped portray five-dimension space with only two to spare

Christopher Nolan's space epic Interstellar brought five-dimensional physics to life in a way that was actually mathematically correct, with a wormhole in space-time being portrayed accurately for the first time in movie history. Double Negative's Visual Effects Supervisor Paul Franklin has some interesting things to say about how that was achieved, and we've also predicted the movie will be the source of some of the 5 biggest VFX trends for 2015.

Words: Tom May

Like this? Read these!