Why Jurassic World 3's 65 Million Years Flashback Is So Dark
Jurassic World: Dominion just showed off a prehistoric flashback scene, but it was rather gloomy. Here's the reason why the sequence is so dark.
Jurassic World: Dominion has just released an extended first look at the film's opening prehistoric flashback sequence, and fans are wondering why the scene is so dark and hard to see. The scene is currently included as a special preview during IMAX showings of F9, and is the first big look audiences have gotten at the highly anticipated blockbuster film. The third entry in the Jurassic World trilogy and the sixth overall Jurassic film is set to open in the summer of 2022, and this exhilarating sneak peek offers a glimpse into the new directions this climactic finale to the story will be going.
For those who've been lucky enough to see it, the sequence is a bold departure for the franchise up to this point. Instead of focusing on the modern cloned dinosaurs that have starred in the previous five Jurassic films, this sequence takes viewers 65 million years into the past to show dinosaurs as they really existed, feathers and all. Dinosaurs and prehistoric creatures of various sizes and descriptions are seen, including several sauropods, some pterosaurs, and two giant predators: the legendary T-Rex and the massive Giganotosaurus. The sequence concludes with one of these mighty creatures slaughtering the other, and the corpse of the losing dinosaur being visited by a mosquito that drinks its blood.
Aside from the epic scale, exciting dino fight, and unprecedented setting, the biggest takeaway from this new footage online seems to be how dark it is. While the scene isn't too murky to properly make out, most of the action is surprisingly gloomy and shrouded in shadow. Even the big confrontation between Jurrasic World 3's T-Rex and the Giganotosaurus is largely in silhouette and lacking in up-close, well-lit detail. For a sequence playing on a huge, high-definition IMAX screen, the darkness is a bit unexpected. Thankfully, all it takes to understand why the scene is so dark is a brief look behind the scenes. The likely culprit? CGI masking.
It's no secret that creating the photorealistic, highly detailed animation seen in modern blockbuster movies is both time-consuming and expensive, requiring huge budgets and a talented crew to properly create. Crafting the amazing visuals seen in everything from the MCU films to Jurassic World and its sequels can take months of hard work and a great deal of money, and given the turnaround time required to finish the visual effects for so many movies, shortcuts are a common and often necessary part of the job. This is where CGI masking comes into play. One of the main reasons why so many films with computer-generated characters include darker scenes that take place in low light is because these dark environments can easily mask less detailed CGI. If a character model is less believable or features rougher animation, these issues can more easily be hidden by environmental factors like darkness, rain, or smoke. When done correctly, this approach is barely noticeable by the audience, and can cut back on both time and money for the production.
CGI masking is definitely a part of many big movies like the Jurassic World series, but it's also fairly common in movie trailers. Sometimes, in order to have a trailer ready to debut to the public, the visual effects team will use masking and other visual shortcuts to create passable visuals that might not represent what the finished product will look like. In many cases, CGI-heavy trailer scenes that feature darker or less-detailed imagery are dramatically improved for the finished film This may very well be the case for Jurassic World: Dominion and its dinosaur stars; when the film opens in 2022, it's entirely possible that the 65-million-year flashback sequence will be brighter and more detailed. With the new teaser having done its job and created a new surge of hype for the Jurassic World sequel, the visual effects team can now spend the next year working hard to make the scene even better for its final release.