'Terminator 2' Pre-CGI Special Effects Explained By Film Crew

Offering a unique insight into the creation 1991 Terminator 2's masterful special effects before CGI, the Stan Winston School of Character Arts has published a behind-the-scenes feature into the creation of the film's villain: the T-1000.

Since this predated a time of powerful hardware to bring realistic computer graphics to film, the painstaking manual efforts taken to create the antagonist's liquid metal endoskeleton presented us with truly memorable action special effects.  

“The endoskeletons, which had been the big deal on Terminator, were the least of our problems on Terminator 2,” said 25-year SWS supervisor and Co-Founder of Legacy Effects, John Rosengrant. “By far, the most challenging things we did for Terminator 2 were these physical effects involving the T-1000 character. We did a lot of in-camera magic tricks for that — splitting open bodies, finger blades, heads blowing open, bullet-hit wounds. Every day, there was something new and challenging to do.”

Take a look into how the team blew the T-1000's head apart, cut it apart, and contorted the entire body into a disfigured, torn shape.  It's a fascinating insight.

Source: Stan Winston School