Hot answers tagged total-recall
CGI was actually fairly common practice by the 1990s, a watershed period for digital visual effects. Most prominently rendered in wireframe in the 1970s (Star Wars IV, 1977; Superman, 1978), by the mid-80s various scifi and fantasy films employed photoreal mapping effects (Flight of the Navigator, 1986) and were making strides in live action/digital ...
According to Den Of Geek - Top SFX shots: The nails are rotoscoped to provide an area for an animated colour transition to take place, and that's all there is to it. Rotoscoping refers to the technique of manually creating a matte for an element on a live-action plate so it may be composited over another background Some other examples of ...
I couldn't tell you the exact technique they would have used, but I assume they just had an effect artist colour it in post-production. For the record, CGI was being used in film to varying degrees all throughout the 1980s, though they have said that one of the only CG shots in Total Recall was for the x-ray scanner scene.
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