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‘Blade Runner 2049’ VFX reel breaks down that unexpected reveal

Warning: Spoilers ahead.
David Lumb, @OutOnALumb
01.03.18 in AV
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Warner Bros.

Despite the insane stakes, this year's Blade Runner 2049 lived up to (and in some ways surpassed) the paradigm-shifting original film. The sequel created its gritty futuristic look with the help of plenty of visual effects, but building settings isn't all the film pulled off with digital wizardry. A shocking moment comes with the kinda-return of (*spoilers*) Sean Young's replicant Rachel, who looks like she hasn't aged a day. The company behind that VFX trick just released a trailer giving a peek at exactly how they did it.

The Moving Picture Company recreated Rachel through a combination of procedures, including bringing back Sean Young and scanning her in, combining that with archival footage from the original film to create a digital double, then animating it on top of a motion-captured stand-in actress. As Gizmodo pointed out, it's not a new series of techniques, but the company made a more convincing (and less creepy) young Rachel than earlier efforts to digitally recreate and de-age actors and actresses, as Rogue One tried to do with Princess Leia and Grand Moff Tarkin.

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