‘Infinity War’ Behind-the-Scenes Video Shows The Battle On Titan Without VFX – therealstanlee.com
Avengers: Infinity War was a lot of things. Number one, it was the culmination of a decade’s worth of films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe converging into one epic movie. Secondly, it was a quasi-origin story for the Mad Titan, Thanos. While we had seen him in past films, it was only in passing, really. Infinity War allowed us to get to know the character in a way we hadn’t before, and although it featured numerous characters we all know and love, the movie centered around the villain. Lastly, it was a technological masterpiece. What they were able to do with the mix of CGI, VFX, Mo-Cap, and good old-fashioned cinematography was incredible.
The creation of Thanos and the fight scenes that included him were something special. Infinity War animation supervisor, Paul Story, spoke with the Art of VFX about creating the Mad Titan:
“Thanos’ design incorporated a lot more of Josh Brolin’s facial features in this film. We were mindful that Digital Domain were also working on Thanos, so both companies would often check in to make sure we had our characters in sync, even though our facial pipelines are quite unique.
For Thanos’ bodybuilder design, we had to make sure someone so sculpted was capable of making the quick and powerful performances needed for our sequences. This involved a full range of motion poses to stress test the detailed muscle and tissue rigging. This ultimately informed animation and the rigging team of the ranges desired and what was achievable. With the muscle detail so visible in Thanos, we needed ways to be able to show his muscles firing from an already inflated state. So specific shapes were created for animation to control, along with the finer details of veins enlarging to help give us the perceivable change in shape needed.”
Story also discussed bringing the character to Marvel Studios and the Russo Brothers after all of their hard work:
“Once the base model for Thanos had final buy off from the Russo brothers and Marvel, we built Weta Digital facial puppets of both Josh Brolin and Thanos. These facial rigs are created with hundreds of muscle-based blend shape controls for the animators. Each controller works as though we are firing a specific muscle (or group of muscles) in the face. The shapes are derived from a FACs session of Josh, in which we capture the many face shapes needed to make a comprehensive facial puppet. Many combination shapes are reworked alongside animation tests until we have a solid puppet that keeps all the correct muscle movements intact while giving the animators as much control as they need to sell a great performance.”
And what a final performance they had! If you haven’t seen the film but somehow made it this far through the article, you may not want to watch the video below. It’s a VFX breakdown of the battle on Titan featuring Thanos, Doctor Strange, and Iron Man. If you know the scene, you know which part it’s going to focus on (“I hope they remember you”). Check out the incredible breakdown below…
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