5 'CGI' Movie Scenes That Were Actually 100% Real 

5 'CGI' Movie Scenes That Were Actually 100% Real 
Image credit: Warner Bros. Entertainment/Paramount Pictures

While it may seem obvious that these five scenes were created with computer-generated effects, they were actually very real and achieved the old-fashioned way.

Computer-generated effects have come a long way over the decades of movie history, improving countless films and making it possible to bring things to the screen that were previously considered impossible.

However, sometimes a scene that you were 100% sure was done with CGI was actually done with practical effects even if it seemed counterproductive at first glance.

So here are five movie scenes you thought were CGI, but they in fact weren't.

1. Army of Smiths — The Matrix Revolutions (2003)

The grand finale of The Matrix trilogy (well, at least it was supposed to be) featured an epic battle between Neo and Agent Smith, with countless copies of the rogue program watching the confrontation.

Surprisingly, the hundreds of other Smiths you see on screen are not CGI puppets, as in The Matrix Reloaded, but are actual models sculpted in the image of Hugo Weaving.

2. Replacing the Reactor — Iron Man (2008)

After Obadiah Stane rips the arc reactor out of Tony Stark's chest, Tony's trusty assistant Pepper Potts has to replace it manually by putting her hand inside his body.

Instead of using CGI, the scene was done the old-fashioned way, with a fake chest and Robert Downey Jr. sitting at a different angle.

3. Flamethrower Guitar — Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)

Often CGI is used to get the actor out of harm's way, and applying it for a few brief scenes with searing hot flames seems completely justified.

But the creators of Mad Max: Fury Road thought otherwise, and among many other great practical effects, they constructed an actual working flamethrower guitar.

4. Cornfields — Interstellar (2014)

Considering how many backgrounds in modern movies are computer generated, using CGI to create a giant cornfield from scratch might seem like a no-brainer.

However, Christopher Nolan decided to do things the hard way, planting a 500-acre cornfield for his epic sci-fi masterpiece and selling it after the filming was complete.

5. Catching the Lunch Tray — Spider-Man (2002)

The iconic scene where Peter uses his newfound enhanced reflexes to catch both Mary Jane and her falling lunch was actually 100% real.

It took over 150 takes to get the food to land perfectly on the sticky tray, which makes you wonder if it was necessary to spend so much time on such a short scene.