• VES Award Nominated

    Outstanding Virtual Cinematography
  • AEAF Award Winner - Silver

    Feature Film VFX
  • Saturn Award Nominated

    Best Special Effects
  • Broadcast Film Critics Association Award Nominated

    Best Visual Effects

Creating (& recreating) the Mimics

The Art Department and VFX team worked in partnership to perfect the stars of the show: The Mimics.  The basic Mimics, glowing yellow and with four limbs, each of those covered in a number of tentacles, are led by the larger but rarer Alpha Mimics – glowing blue, six limbed and again covered with extra tentacles. Both creatures’ limbs and tentacles can grow and retract as they move. The complexity was reflected in the rig, which had up to 2000 controls for the animators to play with.

“We had to find ways of making them not look like a traditional quadruped” says London Animation Lead Brad. “You never really see all of their limbs on screen at the same time because we cycled them so as one disappears another grows. All together it made it quite a complicated creature!”

'With Edge of Tomorrow we took on everything: Fluids interacting with themselves, close-up digi-doubles, extremely complicated character movement and massive fluid sims – we were asked to do every trick in the book and we rose to the challenge.'

Jonathan Fawkner - VFX Supervisor

Live. Die. Repeat the Effects

Aside from the Mimics the show’s main animation challenge was actually the sheer range of work – huge dropships, soldiers, helicopters, close-up digi-doubles and, in the fully CG shots, often the camera too. Framestore's Research and Development were bought on board to support the team, including the work by the visual effects departments.  VFX work which accounted for more than 400 shots, included the film’s fiery finale in a flooded, fully CG Paris, requiring large-scale environment work and impressive simulations.

Creating a digital Paris

The major work comes later on in the film as Cage and Rita travel to Paris; now a dead, dark and flooded city. Framestore animated the intricate dropship that the character's travel in, even working on the inside of the vessel.As the ship drops into Paris, there are miles and miles of a digitally-built, water-filled, smoke and fire enclosed city designed by the team. In one scene, Cage manages to drop straight into the Seine. There’s a digi-double take over here, flanked by two genuine takes of Tom Cruise holding his breath for some considerable time. He pulls himself out of the water and into our dark, digital Paris – the Place de la Concorde, the Tuileries, the Louvre and the surrounding area.

City of Light

Lighting was also tricky to get right.  It is supposed to be a powerless city and had to look real, but then if it was really real you would barely see anything. The team made it work with the clever placement of fog and fire. “We illuminated the fog as if lit from the sides, off camera, always trying to make it look like ‘movie night’ rather than real night, which is impossible to photograph” explains Fawkner. The water, fire and fog were all done in fLush, the in-house fluid simulator. It was a real bi-directional, sometimes tri-directional simulation. The lighting was done in Arnold using bespoke fMote fog and volume shading.  Those water simulations needed to cover such a large stretch of Paris (it is over a kilometre from the crash site to Louvre) that they are biggest done so far at Framestore.  Not only was there water, but also a restarted dropship, hundreds of pursuing mimics and, of course, plenty of explosions, all of which need to react with each other, creating detailed splashes, foam and spray.


A playful and frantic science-fiction twister which mimics the best while offering something fresh and — most importantly — thrilling.


As it stands, the uniqueness of the time reset premise and sci-fi action distinguish the film from so many others in the genre.

Screen Rant

This is the kind of thoughtfully constructed movie that other summertime blockbusters should aspire to be more like.

Vanity Fair

The smartest blockbuster of this summer season, or perhaps any summer season.

Times (UK)