Crafting Titans: A Closer Look at DNEG’s work on Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire

DNEG’s 4th contribution to the MonsterVerse franchise

Creating an immersive visual extravaganza for the big screen!

Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire landed in theatres in March this year, marking DNEG’s fourth contribution to the MonsterVerse franchise, following our previous work on Godzilla, Godzilla: King of Monsters and Godzilla vs. Kong.

In a series of recent interviews, Paul Franklin – Senior VFX Supervisor, Aleks Pejic – VFX Supervisor, and Eric Chan – DFX Supervisor have been taking a look back at the VFX and stereo conversion work that DNEG delivered on the show.

Talking to FX Guide, Paul Franklin said: “The range and complexity of the work on Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire was quite extraordinary – magical environments, extraordinary creatures, FX. Anything you can imagine is in there!”

Delivering over 310 VFX shots that spanned 20 sequences, and stereo converting the entire film into a cinematic 3D spectacle, our DNEG crew not only showcased their ability to handle large-scale cinematic battles, but also their skill in crafting more detailed and subtle work that helps to enrich the storytelling.


Read on for a closer look at our work! 


Godzilla v. Charybdis

The film featured a captivating opening battle between Godzilla and Charybdis amidst Rome’s iconic landmarks. DNEG’s integration of dynamic creature animation with complex FX work, alongside digital reconstructions of the Coliseum and Piazza Venezia, pushed the DNEG team to unleash wide-scale destruction with visual coherence within a familiar real-world location.

About the sequence, Paul Franklin said to VFX Voice: “We had a big sequence set in Rome, which opens the movie, when Godzilla is facing a monster called Charybdis, which is a giant spider-lobster creature. We also spent a lot of time looking at the way places like Rome are actually photographed and how you show off the architecture in its best light. There is a lot of plate photography in that sequence, live-action photography from the location, but quite a bit of it is created in the computer. You are wanting to capture the character of what you see in the live action but do it in a creative and stylistic fashion. So that was pretty important.”


Creating new worlds

Beyond the clashes of the titans, DNEG crafted diverse and immersive environments—from the Pacific Island headquarters of Monarch to the mystical realms within Hollow Earth.

The journey through Monarch Island’s “Vile Vortex” and the “Veil” of Hollow Earth demonstrated our team’s skills in simulating complex visual phenomena like cloth dynamics and reflective light interactions, which added a layer of authenticity to the fantastical elements of the film.

Eric Chan commented: “Our team created a visually stunning world characterized by upside-down glowing pyramids and enormous monsters. The project required pioneering new lighting techniques and advanced CG environment techniques. Collaborative efforts with the concept team were crucial in seamlessly integrating visual effects to enhance the narrative. One of the standout challenges was the vortex—a portal enabling Kong to travel between realms within Hollow Earth, developed through sophisticated FX simulations. This endeavour not only pushed our technical boundaries but also expanded our creative horizons, making it a pivotal experience in my career.”


Titanic attention to detail

Despite the huge scale of the titular characters, attention to detail was paramount in closer, more intimate scenes featuring Godzilla and King Kong. For instance, the depiction of King Kong’s facial expressions during a tooth extraction scene required intricate detail in skin textures and subtle facial movements.

Diving into the shot, Paul Franklin told Befores & Afters: “One of the shots that really pushed us hard was an extreme close-up just of Kong’s eyes and his nose. You don’t see the rest of his face as he’s sleeping. He’s been anesthetized and Trapper (Dan Stevens) is about to land on him. Just the level of detail in the skin that has to be revealed there was huge. We were really working hard to get every last pixel out of the textures that have been applied to it.”


Summarising the team’s thoughts about being a part of this epic movie, Aleks Pejic said: “Working on Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire felt like stepping into a time machine and reliving the magic of my childhood, where Godzilla and Kong were my constant companions in imaginary battles. This time, the world of monsters was vividly real, and our adventures were shared with millions of fans worldwide, making it an unforgettable journey into the MonsterVerse.”




Los Angeles