I loved X-Men as a kid but my opinion of it (and the subsequent movies) haven’t aged well since. They were… of their time, shall we say. But one thing that continues to intrigue me is the story arc of Senator Robert Kelly getting transformed by Magneto’s Conversion Machine and becoming a mutant. Kinda. He was imprisoned at the time and managed to escape, with his power being able to take the form of water. But his mutation was unstable, the X-Men tried to help him and he dissolved/melted/passed away in Storm’s arms. Even if he was anti-mutant, I did feel kinda sorry for him.
Jen Glennon, for Inverse, looked at how this arc was all put together from a visual effects perspective:
“This was just an idea I had. Nobody knew if it was going to work,” Fink says. “This is what you do in visual effects quite often — you make up things that you’re absolutely confident you’re going to work, but you really have no idea because nobody’s ever done it before. So you’re always kind of standing with your fingers crossed behind your back when the director shows up.”
Dissolving Kelly also gave Fink and the visual effects team on X-Men the opportunity to break new ground with photogrammetry, which uses high-resolution photographs to construct 3D environment models. Consistent lighting across all elements of this sequence made it far easier for the compositor to seamlessly blend digital and practical effects in post-production.