Todd Masters and his crew have had a lot of work on their hands bringing skitters, overlords, and mechs alive on the screen. The thing that makes it all work the best is a blend of practical effects and CGI enhanced effects. at the 2014 NAB show, the VFX team behind Falling Skies, including Todd Masters talked about big changes for season 4 that will see an increased presence of the Espheni on screen.
Keith has been the man behind all the practical aliens up until Cochise, who is played by actor Doug Jones. The skitter suit is a practical piece that must be put on and worn. The legs are also practical but big movements are enhanced with digital later.
Revealed today the team said that while mechs were 100% digital in the first few seasons, they have moved to using a practical Mech for certain shots during filming, to allow for a more real feel within the screen. We can all agree there were times in season 1 where the mechs felt out of place or focus on the screen with the action scenes.
For the first time ever, Espheni who appear on screen will be practical suits, similar to the skitters, rather than digital as they have been in the past. That tells us that we will be seeing much more of them on screen. The same puppeteer Keith who has played our skitter rebel Red Eye and others will also wear the suit for the overlords.
Digital/CGI isn’t going away, its still used for major movements and battles with more than one alien on screen but up close and personal scenes will now have more practical effects then ever before. That confirms our first notion behind the 2 episode increase for season 4, bigger budgets.
What can we expect from season 4? Checkout this behind the scenes VFX trailer and watch the latest season 4 teaser.