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Olympic fireworks digitally faked

Beijing Olympics puts its best feet forward
Beijing Olympics puts its best feet forward

The opening to the Bejing Olympics featured a staggering fireworks display, but those watching at home were tricked into thinking what they saw was real. Some of it was actually CGI.

The fakery was unearthed by a local Chinese newspaper, The Beijing Times, which revealed that a 55-second sequence was created by a visual effects team, which included a series of giant footsteps made by fireworks.

Confusingly, this actually took place in the real ceremony, but the organisers felt that the sequence of 28 footprints would not be accurately captured live, so they faked it.

Risk assessment

Speaking to The Beijing Times, an advisor to the Beijing Olympic Committee (BOCOG) defended the decision: "It would have been prohibitive to have tried to film it live," he said.

"We could not put the helicopter pilot at risk by making him try to follow the firework route."

To emulate the shot, the visual effects team actually put a slight camera shake on to the image, and even spoke to the Beijing meteorological office to ask them how to recreate the Beijing smog.