WETA Digital has released a video showcasing the effects used in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. The video shows a lot from the movie so only watch if you have seen the film / or don’t care about that sort of thing:
While the feature is very impressive I cannot help but pity the actors who had large chunks of greenscreen work to do. And I must say that despite all the hard work behind it a lot scenes (especially the barrel escape) couldn’t help but look fake because of the physics defying stunts.
If anything The Desolation of Smaug has shown that no matter how perfect an effect is we can still spot the fakeness if the characters move and bend in ways that are just plain impossible – and let’s not forget that terrible golden statue at the end…