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Photos: Terminator visual effects--smashing cars, taking names

Warner Bros. turned to Industrial Light & Magic to make some of the most complex action sequences look simple.

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Daniel Terdiman
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1 of 16 Image copyright 2009 Warner Bros. Courtesy of Industrial Light & Magic

Terminator explosion

On Friday, Warner Bros. released "Terminator Salvation," the latest in the long-running series, and the first to take place post judgment day. In this film, hero John Conner, played by actor Christian Bale, must battle a series of terminators including mototerminators, intelligent motorcycle-like robots.
In this sequence, which takes place on a New Mexico bridge suspended over the Rio Grande Gorge, the Industrial Light & Magic visual effects team incorporated shots taken at three different locations and blended them together seamlessly.
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2 of 16 Image copyright 2009 Warner Bros. Courtesy of Industrial Light & Magic

Terminator truck

A production plate shot on location outside of Albuquerque, N.M., is the first step used to create the final image in one of Terminator's biggest action sequences.
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3 of 16 Image copyright 2009 Warner Bros. Courtesy of Industrial Light & Magic

Terminator collision

In this ILM rendering, a computer graphics car is simulated to show the forces it would undergo if it were hit by another vehicle going more than 50 miles an hour.
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4 of 16 Image copyright 2009 Warner Bros. Courtesy of Industrial Light & Magic

Terminator collision rendering

In this image, the rendered car is shown over a black background along with the computer-generated plastic, glass, and metal debris flying through the air.
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5 of 16 Image copyright 2009 Warner Bros. Courtesy of Industrial Light & Magic

Terminator simulation

This is the simulation as seen from the side. The camera, as represented by an icon, is seen off to the far right.
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6 of 16 Image copyright 2009 Warner Bros. Courtesy of Industrial Light & Magic

Final Terminator shot

This is the final shot, as rendered in a neutral color space. Later, it will be color-timed to duplicate the look of the film.
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7 of 16 Image copyright 2009 Warner Bros. Courtesy of Industrial Light & Magic

Mototerminator

One of the "stars" of the new Terminator films is this mototerminator, an intelligent motorcycle. One of the main action sequences in the film required a great deal of visual effects work in order to demonstrate the nimbleness of the robot.
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8 of 16 Image copyright 2009 Warner Bros. Courtesy of Industrial Light & Magic

Christian Bale

Actor Christian Bale, playing John Connor, the star of "Terminator Salvation," looks on during the aftermath of one of the film's action sequences.
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9 of 16 Image copyright 2009 Warner Bros. Courtesy of Industrial Light & Magic

Terminator battle scene

Two mototerminators speed through the debris of a massive battle scene in "Terminator Salvation."
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10 of 16 Erik Palm/CNET

Ben Snow

ILM visual effects supervisor Ben Snow demonstrates the effects used in an action sequence from the new film, "Terminator Salvation," at ILM's headquarters in San Francisco on May 20. In the background is a poster depicting the scene.
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11 of 16 Image copyright 2009 Warner Bros. Courtesy of Industrial Light & Magic

Terminator helicopter

A helicopter lands in the middle of a battle scene in "Terminator Salvation."
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12 of 16 Image copyright 2009 Warner Bros. Courtesy of Industrial Light & Magic

Terminator

A terminator glares at the camera.
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13 of 16 Image copyright 2009 Warner Bros. Courtesy of Industrial Light & Magic

McG

Director McG explains what he wants on the set of "Terminator Salvation."
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14 of 16 Image copyright 2009 Warner Bros. Courtesy of Industrial Light & Magic

Terminator fire

An action sequence from "Terminator Salvation." The movie opened Friday around the country. Industrial Light & Magic did the main visual effects for the film.
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15 of 16 Image copyright 2009 Warner Bros. Courtesy of Industrial Light & Magic

Terminator robots

A factory full of terminators in the new film "Terminator Salvation."
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16 of 16 Image copyright 2009 Warner Bros. Courtesy of Industrial Light & Magic

McG and Christian Bale

On the set, "Terminator Salvation" director McG explains what he wants to lead actor Christian Bale.

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