Inside Chia-Chi Hu's Visual Effects Work
The Academy

A new member of the Visual Effects branch, Chia-Chi Hu studied cinematography in Paris before moving to a career in digital compositing. She currently serves as Pixar’s Compositing Technical Director and has remained at the forefront of motion picture technology—highlighted by a presentation she gave on the compositing work of Incredibles 2 at SIGGRAPH Asia in 2017. Here are just a few additional films demonstrating the wide range of genres and techniques that suit her considerable skills.

This article was originally published on July 16, 2021.

Letters From Iwo Jima
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Most viewers didn’t even realize digital effects were involved in Clint Eastwood’s Oscar-winning depiction of the Japanese side of the Battle of Iwo Jima. Multiple compositing team members from Digital Domain were enlisted to help create the film’s period-accurate depiction of one of World War II’s most famous conflicts, with cinema magic even turning Malibu into a convincing stand-in for Iwo Jima (which is still off-limits for filming to this day).

The Avengers
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Marvel’s first all-star superhero epic is a virtual showcase for the vast array of Oscar-nominated visual effects technology available at the time, with compositing used to craft elaborate tech-heavy backdrops for live-action actors and even creations like the Hulk.

Jurassic World
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The work of digital compositing has made major strides in recent years, and for proof, take a look at this ambitious revisit to the world first introduced to audiences with Steven Spielberg’s Oscar-winning classic back in 1994. If you ever wanted to experience what our world would be like interacting with dinosaurs, look no further.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
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Also Oscar-nominated for its visual effects was this action-packed and surprising prologue to the original 1977 “Star Wars,” charting the sacrifices and heroism behind the operation to steal plans for the Death Star.

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Pixar’s computer-animated fantasy, which took home Oscars for Animated Feature and Original Score, called for a huge team of tech talent, with Chia-Chi Hu serving as compositing lead on this challenging project. Creating an elaborate, colorful afterlife (and the pathway that leads to it) results in striking imagery never seen on screen with an effortless fluidity appropriate to the film’s salute to jazz music.

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