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Watch How Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Utilized Practical Effects to Nearly Kill Rocket

When two of your main characters are a walking and talking (sort of) tree and a talking raccoon, you know that CGI has played a huge part. Yet, you might be surprised to find out that a good portion of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 was made with practical effects. In a new behind-the-scenes look at the film, James Gunn and his team explain how one scene, involving Rocket jumping from tree to tree while he’s being shot at from baddies on the ground, actually involves some old-school visual effects, with actual exploding trees and a Rocket puppet. 

While CGI is used to create Rocket and to enhance the scene, the overall majority of the scene required the visual effects team to rig the trees with small charges. Then, while the actors on the ground shot at the trees (and a stuffed Rocket, to be replaced later by the CGI version), the tree tops exploded, raining sparks down onto the forest floor. A camera, attached to a wire, zips along through the threes to catch the action from above.

In utilizing both CGI and practical effects, Gunn married both techniques to create an even more realistic sequence, giving audiences the pleasure of watching the action unfold without ever being pulled out of the film because something looked artificial.  Making the unimaginable (foul-mouthed raccoon scampering through exploding trees) seem real is all a part of the magic of moviemaking.

Be sure to watch the VFX behind the scenes clip here.

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