A HowStuffWorks Behind-the-Scenes Tour lets you see how people make something or how something works in incredible detail. There are seven behind-the-scenes articles available right now!


How Industrial Light and Magic Works!
Ever since George Lucas created Industrial Light and Magic (ILM) in 1975 to provide visual effects for the first Star Wars movie, ILM has been synonymous with movie magic. In fact, the visual effects created by ILM have appeared in eight of the 10 highest grossing movies ever. ILM has won an amazing 28 Academy Awards: 14 for Best Visual Effects and another 14 for Technical Achievement! In this article you can go behind-the-scenes and learn how ILM created the visual effects for the film "The Perfect Storm"!
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How Centropolis FX Creates Visual Effects!
Almost every Hollywood movie produced today contains visual effects of some sort. Even a movie like "The Patriot," which depicts events that took place during the American Revolution, contains a surprising array of visual effects that add depth and richness to the film. In this tour we go behind the scenes and visit Centropolis FX (CFX), the company responsible for the visual effects used in "The Patriot" and many other movies (including "Independence Day," "Godzilla," "Contact" and "Flubber," among others). You will find that it takes an amazing array of technology, as well as talent on the part of the artists, technicians and managers at CFX, to create the incredible movies that look so real on the big screen!
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How 3DO Creates Video Games!
Video games are enormously popular all over the world. In fact, the video game industry is a multibillion dollar a year machine -- A successful video game, just like a popular music CD, can sell hundreds of thousands or even millions of copies! 3DO is one of the top video game companies in the U.S. with dozens of popular titles. Go behind the scenes and learn exactly how 3DO creates a new game!
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How Champ Cars Work!
Champ Car racing is one of the most technologically advanced sports in the world today. Their carbon fiber bodies, incredible engines, advanced aerodynamics and intelligent electronics make each car a high-speed research lab. Because a Champ Car runs at speeds up to 240 MPH, the driver experiences G-forces and copes with incoming data so quickly that it makes Champ Car driving one of the most demanding professions in the sporting world! Have you ever wished you could go behind the scenes and really understand how Champ Car racing works? For example, where do these incredible cars and engines come from? How do the drivers become drivers, and how do they train for each race? Who is on the team, and who works on these cars before and during each race? To answer questions like these and to really understand how a complete Champ Car team works, we will learn about the car, the driver and the people that make up the Motorola PacWest Racing Team!
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How NFL Equipment Works!
Equipment is an integral part of professional football, and an NFL team uses a huge amount of it! You see some of it at each game -- the helmets, jerseys, shoes and so on. Much of it, however, is invisible -- The pads are a good example. And all of it has a multiplier of 53, which is the number of players on a team's roster during the normal season -- That multiplier is what changes the job of equipment management into an incredibly interesting logistical problem for any team. For example, a typical NFL team consumes somewhere around 2,500 pairs of shoes in a single season! Someone has to keep track of everything or the team can't play. In this article you will learn how a professional NFL team -- in this case the Carolina Panthers -- uses equipment and handles the incredible volume! - Read the article!
More Factory Tours!
Many manufacturers provide extremely nice online factory tours -- here are some of the best that we have found on the Web!