Visual Effects Oscar Nominees on Their Top Digital Secrets

This year’s visual-effects category displays so much expertise that each nominated film had at least one Oscar winner or nominee on its team.John Nelson, who won for “Gladiator” and led the group behind “Blade Runner 2049,” says, “I was lucky that everybody wanted to work on this movie.”Nelson adds, “It’s hard to live up to a classic, and in science fiction, visual effects rules are important because they define jeopardy.

Jeopardy needs to be real or audiences won’t care.”The movie depicts one possible future, Nelson notes, adding: “There were no traffic jams in the sky.”There were, however, 17 distinctive environments that extended Roger Deakins’ cinematography by mixing models, miniatures and CG extensions.

Nelson even used Google Earth to initially “fly through” locales that were later photographed.His team also delivered tour-de-force compositing, merging two different actors to create an eerie third person — including creating a CG doppleganger of one of the

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