FXGuide breaks down the visual effects of Zero Dark Thirty, including making CGI helicopters and dust, creating a crash sequence, substituting day for night and more.
They write, "When U.S. Navy SEALs raided a Pakistan compound on May 2nd, 2011 and killed Osama bin Laden, it was an almost moonless night. So when director Kathryn Bigelow sought to re-create the raid in Zero Dark Thirty, she and DOP Greig Fraser had a very clear mandate to film the scene in almost pitch darkness. The result is an authentic re-telling of the hunt for the Al Qaeda leader, but also one that posed a significant challenge for the visual effects crew from Image Engine, called upon to create photorealistic stealth helicopters used in the daring raid, as well as several other key effects in the Oscar-nominated film."
Read the full piece here.