The Ballad of Buster Scruggs harks back to classic westerns, but directors Joel and Ethan Coen used the latest technology to realise the rootin', tootin' action. Visual effects company East Side was one of the bands of outlaws rounding up digital effects for the movie, which is divided into six short stories. Click through the pictures to see how CG effects were used to put James Franco in a noose and Tom Waits in a tree.
The first story sees Buster Scruggs himself ride in from the prairie. Here we see the original unaltered shot -- also known as a "plate" -- of actor Tim Blake Nelson, complete with camera tracks on the right hand side.
While the movie was filmed elsewhere, the production team took shots of the iconic Monument Valley...
...and dropped the actor into the famous backdrop, painting out the camera equipment and adding digital dust at the same time.
The second story in the anthology sees a bunch of cowboys come under fire from a hail of arrows. The actor mimes being hit...
...which was digitally mapped...
...and the arrows were added in, or "composited".
Liam Neeson stars in the third chapter, which presented the film's most complicated visual effects shot.
Harry Melling plays a paraplegic performer in this dark tale. For shots like this, he simply stood in a hole on the stage and CG was used to paint out his arms and legs.
But for this sequence, in which Neeson carries Melling's character on his back, that simple solution wouldn't work.
So for the first part of the shot, Neeson carried a dummy up the stairs, and the movements were precisely tracked and mapped.
Then, Melling was filmed separately on a moving platform known as a motion base, programmed to repeat the same movements as the dummy on the stairs.
These two elements were then composited together -- and to make it even more complex, the light on Melling's face had to match the changing light on the stairs as Neeson passed each lamp.
Tom Waits is a grizzled prospector in the next chapter.
For the scene where the prospector climbs a tree, Waits was shot against a bluescreen backdrop. The bluescreen was set up outdoors rather than inside a soundstage, for more natural light.
More clean images of the backdrop were captured...
...and the two elements composited together.
Zoe Kazan appears in this heartwrenching segment. For once, those wagons are actually real.
In one scene, Grainger Hines defends against an attack by Native Americans.
Real horses were used to film the attack.
But the real horses were replaced by CG steeds for the moments when they fell.
These digital horses were created by the same company that created the many mounts seen in the spectacular Battle of Bastards in Game of Thrones.
The final gothic segment is set in the cramped confines of a stagecoach, and was intended by the Coens to look artificial and otherworldly.
Here we see the stagecoach filmed against a bluescreen, with no horses.
The bluescreen and the towing equipment were painted out...
And more CG horses were added to complete the atmospheric effect.