YouTuber William H. Baker impressively recreates the effects of Oppenheimer’s nuclear explosion using glitter, water, and chemical mixtures. His recreation faithfully reflects the practical effects used by Christopher Nolan and his special effects team in Oppenheimer. The success of Baker’s efforts highlights the potential for practical effects and the importance of time and effort in achieving stunning visuals.
YouTuber William H. Baker faithfully recreates the much-discussed aftermath of Oppenheimer’s nuclear explosion. Christopher Nolan’s recent production featured an all-star cast including Cillian Mufi, Emily Blunt, Florence Pugh, Matt Damon, Robert Downey Jr. and many more as key figures associated with the Manhattan Project. Murphy played the award-winning J. Robert Oppenheimer, the physicist who led the project’s laboratory and played a critical role in building the first nuclear bomb during World War II.
While Oppenheimer continues to dominate cinemas, one YouTuber decided to recreate the film’s spectacle by recreating the effects used to visualize the deadly atomic explosion.
After poring over the trailer for clues about how Nolan created Oppenheimer’s chemical reactions and explosion visuals, Baker used a combination of sparkles, water, long exposure photography, chemical mixtures, and a complex ball to replicate the shooting. The result is a spectacular recreation of some of Oppenheimer’s most visually distinct moments.
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After Oppenheimer’s announcement, there was a lot of interest in how Nolan would recreate science tests. Throughout his career, Nolan has developed a reputation for making the most of practical effects whenever possible, whether it’s the spinning corridors characters make their way through in Inception or the risky Dunkirk camera shots to capture World War II dogfights. Since nuclear testing featured prominently in Oppenheimer, it was not entirely clear how he could put all this into practice.
Oppenheimer’s special effects team ran numerous live scientific tests to demonstrate what physical means could be used to create various visual effects. The methods used were not much different from those used by Baker and friends in their own re-creations of the shoot, especially using a glowing ball and using small particles in the water to represent explosive chemical processes. Although some special effects were used, Nolan and his team’s methods were mostly practical.
As Oppenheimer explores the frightening and world-changing moment that has affected cinema, many can be equally astounded by Baker’s efforts. Using only searchable and accessible assets, the YouTuber and his team aim to follow in Nolan’s creative footsteps to capture their stunning visuals. Because Baker’s effects are incredibly similar to Nolan’s in both method and final shots, it’s clear that amazing things can be done with practical effects if creative teams are willing to put in the time and effort.
Source: William H. Baker.