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DnD movie stumps special effects pros with a single chair

It’s movie magic – YouTube show ‘VFX Artists React’ takes a look at the special effects in Dungeons and Dragons: Honor Among Thieves.

DnD movie VFX artists react - Paramount Pictures still of Bradley Cooper sitting in a giant chair in Dungeons and Dragons: Honor Among Thieves

A group of special effects artists released a YouTube video reacting to scenes from the Dungeons and Dragons movie, and one particular chair was a source of major debate. The video, shared on May 27 by the Corridor Crew YouTube channel, sees Sam Gorski, Niki Pueringer, and Wren Weichmen trying to suss out if the D&D movie’s prop was real or CGI.

The trio are part of a regular series on Corridor Crew, known as ‘VFX Artists React’. Each uses their personal expertise to critique and explain the special effects in some of the best movies and best TV series around. Of course, it’s hard to know a movie’s true secrets without actually working on it, so a certain degree of speculation is also involved – hence the Great Chair Debate.

The chair in question is the one sat in by Marlamin, a DnD Halfling played by Bradley Cooper. Halflings are known for their short stature, so some trickery was needed to make Cooper appear tiny in a regular chair. The Corridor Crew are certain there are no perspective tricks going on here (like in The Lord of the Rings), which means CGI must be involved. The question remains: how much? Is the chair Cooper sits on real at all?

Due to some detailed shadows, the crew seem to conclude the chair is a real prop. The movie magic must be happening elsewhere in the scene.

While CGI seats are all well and good, there are some flashier effects in Dungeons and Dragons: Honor Among Thieves. This includes a quicksand trap, a hidden Mini Cooper, and an Aarakocra named Jarnathan.

The Corridor Crew trio also analyse one of the biggest set pieces in the movie: when the DnD Druid Doric escapes capture by Wild Shaping into various animals. The scene is a mixture of clever practical effects and CGI, which are tied together seamlessly so actor Sophie Lillis can switch between human and rat/fly/deer form without any hiccups.

We may not be VFX experts, but we do know D&D – so here are all the DnD movie mistakes relating to fifth edition’s rules, and here’s our rundown of the best DnD movies ever made (that’s right, there are more). And, if you’re looking to play some Dungeons and Dragons, here’s all you need to know about DnD classes and DnD races to start building a character.