ILM And Weta VFX Supervisors Discuss Reinventing Iron Man and Hulk for THE AVENGERS

Revealing new stills & concept art from Marvel's The Avengers hit the jump for a chat with the visual effects supervisors of ILM and Weta, dishing on "tuning up" Hulk, Iron Man & Leviathan

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By DCMarvelFreshman - 5/4/2012


One of many aspects praised about Marvel's The Avengers superhero assembly, which hit theaters today, was the jaw-dropping visual effects, in which multiple high-profile companies contributed to. Industrial Light & Magic and Weta Digital, among them, were tasked to reinvent the Incredible Hulk and Iron Man.

"We really wanted to utilize everything we've developed the last 10 years and make it a pretty spectacular Hulk," says ILM's visual effects supervisor Jeff White. "One of the great design decisions was to incorporate Mark Ruffalo into the look of him. So much of Hulk is based on Ruffalo and his performance, not only in motion capture and on set but down to his eyes, his teeth, and his tongue. We collected a huge amount of data and, thankfully, Mark is just the most agreeable person for the series of trials we put him through. We did many different types of image capture and he did a life cast of his head, hands and feet for us. Every pore and every blemish came from Mark, even his fingerprints. It was great not having to make everything up.



"There's a moment when [Bruce Banner] consciously makes the decision to transform into the Hulk. There's something really powerful about that," White continues. "Our Hulk not only looks really good around the eyes but also has body hair, arm pit hair, nose hair. We knew we were going to have a lot of close-ups, and so it had to be more than just CG skin. We added beard stubble and salt and pepper graying around the temples to match Ruffalo."


Concept art by Charlie Wen


"It's a more believable skin tone green," White says regarding Hulk's saturation. "We kept pulling back on the saturation because he would come out of the box very vibrant. He's got to stand next to the other Avengers and look natural. One of the trickiest aspects was dialing in the sweat level. We wanted him to feel sweaty but not plastic. We utilized beaded sweat (with a lot of breakup) rather than the broader sheens to stay away from the plastic look. The jumping and crashing and environment interaction needed to be believable.



As for Iron Man, "We shared assets back and forth with ILM, but our pipelines are unique and it's hard for other assets to plug into it," says Weta's VFX supervisor, Guy Williams. "But in this case, we got their models and we had to redo the texture spaces because the way we texture maps is different. We use a system called Udim and instead of putting all of our texture spaces from zero to one we lay them out in this very large grid so there are individual zero to one spaces. It allows us to have thousands of maps on a model and not have to do any arbitrary system for defining which spaces go to which maps."

"We're back to a round RT on his chest but the biggest change was giving him a rocket pack. That was a conscious decision by Joss to give Iron Man different poses and not have his hand always as part of the thrust component. We also provided a little extra weaponry with a hand laser and thigh missiles."





Regarding the Leviathan, also being called the Transport, the article suggests it's the armored vehicle that lets off aliens during the New York invasion. "The animation challenge was figuring out how it flies," White explains. "We didn't want it to look like a porpoise and so finding the right speed was tough. If it went too fast, it looked small, but if it moved too slowly, it looked boring. We added electricity crackling down its side and it has heat wash coming from under its wings to stir up the ground."





For the full-length chat with the visual effects supervistors head on over to Animation World Network.


Marvel Studios presents in association with Paramount Pictures “Marvel’s The Avengers”--the super hero team up of a lifetime, featuring iconic Marvel super heroes Iron Man, the Incredible Hulk, Thor, Captain America, Hawkeye and Black Widow. When an unexpected enemy emerges that threatens global safety and security, Nick Fury, Director of the international peacekeeping agency known as S.H.I.E.L.D., finds himself in need of a team to pull the world back from the brink of disaster. Spanning the globe, a daring recruitment effort begins.

Starring Robert Downey, Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner and Samuel L. Jackson, & directed by Joss Whedon from a screenplay by Joss Whedon, “Marvel’s The Avengers” is based on the ever-popular Marvel comic book series “The Avengers,” first published in 1963 and a comics institution ever since. Prepare yourself for an exciting event movie, packed with action and spectacular special effects, when “Marvel’s The Avengers” assemble on May 4, 2012. The film is distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. In addition to "Marvel's The Avengers," Marvel Studios will release a slate of films based on the Marvel characters including "Iron Man 3" on May 3, 2013!; and “Thor 2” on November 15, 2013.


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dbapz - 5/4/2012, 1:18 PM
i'm praying for a shitload of extras on the blu ray.

i love the iron man documentaries
AlexdoxA - 5/4/2012, 1:25 PM
This movie was so great in so many levels...
Mystery - 5/4/2012, 1:25 PM
@Gaston Agreed!
MB007 - 5/4/2012, 1:26 PM
Oh yeah, that explosion was sweet! :-)

Movie was the best one ever, though! :-D
Fogs - 5/4/2012, 1:27 PM
I want to see deleted scenes and listen to the director and team commentary track.
Fogs - 5/4/2012, 1:28 PM
And yes, so far the best VFX of the year by far.
THORGodOfThunder - 5/4/2012, 1:32 PM
Can't wait to see this tonight!!!
marvel72 - 5/4/2012, 1:33 PM
the cgi effects for the hulk & iron man are the best we've seen so far for the hulk & iron man. :D

that jet fighter scene is f*ckin great,actually the whole segment on the heli-carrier was f*ckin awesome.
drykillogic22 - 5/4/2012, 1:35 PM
Just got back from 2nd view, Going again tonight w/a lady friend..my only gripe was the knuckle draging.
GUNSMITH - 5/4/2012, 1:40 PM
SERIOUSLY THE BEST REPRESENTATION OF HULK IN FILM..HOMERUN.





Greengo - 5/4/2012, 1:45 PM
THIS IS ON GOOGLE NEWS!!!!

THAT'S HOW I ORIGINALLY CAME ACROSS CBM : )
GUNSMITH - 5/4/2012, 1:46 PM
THIS IS NOT A GENTLE HULK, IF YOU GET HIM ANGRY HE COULD KILL YOU..REALLY.
GUNSMITH - 5/4/2012, 1:47 PM
CBM IS TOPS GREENGO
TonyChu - 5/4/2012, 1:57 PM
Im waiting for my friend to drive back from campus to see this move. I swear I am just counting the mili seconds until I can see this movie.
Name - 5/4/2012, 1:58 PM
Even though i expected something fantastic from ILM and WETA i was still blown away. Saw it again today and it just gets better. Phenominal realism on Hulk and Ironman. The way Hulk fits into scenes with real actors looks brilliant. This is what to expect after what Avatar did. This film has so many great moments. Bring on the summer.
MarkV - 5/4/2012, 1:59 PM
I love the helicarrier scene. Love how two characters are forced to work together to fix something.
ScabbyJ - 5/4/2012, 2:09 PM
I'm sitting through the credits right now.
Yeah, good movie.
TheCommander - 5/4/2012, 2:10 PM
I teared up @teabag. That was beyond spectacular
MarkV - 5/4/2012, 2:15 PM
I LOVED the film, don't get me wrong, but I thought the ending was a little too chaotic. Thats just me though, I'm sure others will like it more for that reason.
AlexDeLarge87 - 5/4/2012, 2:19 PM
GODDAMIT this movie rules!:)

Loki should think twice before he [frick]s with The Avengers again!... Or should i say with The Hulk!;)
pyrodude93 - 5/4/2012, 2:20 PM
I got to see it at midnight and it was just amazing !
Can't believe it's finally here.
AlexDeLarge87 - 5/4/2012, 2:21 PM
Just came from another screening!:)
jazzman - 5/4/2012, 2:21 PM
its amazing why didnt WB get ILM or Weta to do Green Lantern special fx.
AlexDeLarge87 - 5/4/2012, 2:24 PM
pyrodude93@ I cant believe it either. When i came from the first screening my thoughts were like "Oh my god that was it!"
Brashlight - 5/4/2012, 2:24 PM
saw the midnight screening and even though i am completely exhausted today it far exceeded my expectation and my expectations were incredibly high. I swear i felt like a kid again! It was such a great movie and Tea@ yeah, that scene really completed the movie. you are waiting for it then you get them all battling, gave me goose bumps!

And the Hulk stole the show!!!!
AlexDeLarge87 - 5/4/2012, 2:25 PM
jazz@ That would have been cool.
kevberg - 5/4/2012, 2:28 PM
i gotta wait till saturday...but im on that sumbitch!
Ha1frican - 5/4/2012, 2:28 PM
IM already had the hand laser thing in IM 2 but the mark 7 was sick
DioFoRio - 5/4/2012, 2:29 PM
when ruffalo said he was going to be monkey like with the hulk it sounded a lil goofy. He made it look cool and not over done. Loved the movie...but in saying that it did have a tv feeling sheen to it at times. Still the best Superhero movie ever. looked way more expensive than it was
marvel72 - 5/4/2012, 2:48 PM
@ teabag

i know the one you're on about,that scene was fantastic,i also loved the slow motion shot of thor recieving his hammer just in enough time to deliver an uppercut to a rampaging hulk.
MzSweetyPie - 5/4/2012, 2:53 PM
I saw the movie last night in IMAX 3D and was completely blown away! I'm going to see it tonight in regular 2D to compare and see if 3D really is worth it. I measure every IMAX 3D movie against Avatar because that's the ultimate as far as 3D visuals IMO. The pacing was nice, the action wasn't too over the top that it distracted from the story, humor was nicely places, characters got their individual times to shine! Just a awesome summer movie and a epic Comic Book movie! I'll be very interested to see what kind of money this movie makes when all is said and done.


Oh also....Hulk vs Loki = the best scene in a movie ever! LOL
AlexDeLarge87 - 5/4/2012, 3:03 PM
MzSweetyPie@ Gotta agree with the last statement! My favorite scene!;)
Gary8264 - 5/4/2012, 3:06 PM
Watched it today at the first showin' with my nephew...gonna see it tonight with my Brother and his wife, tomorrow at two with my daughter, and sunday at 2 with one of my other nephews.....
It was all I wanted it to be and then some, thought all the heroes got to shine, and the Hulk, well, he's the Hulk... hahahaha Did anyone else notice that Widow was 'bout to cry just thinkin' Banner was gonna change into ..."the othe guy" hahahahahaha
"Make Mine Marvel".
Gerrit - 5/4/2012, 3:24 PM
No, the best scene was hands down the "I'm always angry" scene. It is the most beautiful, heroic, epic, awe-inspiring, immaculately made of win scene ever. In each time I watched it, I got closer to cry.
peppy - 5/4/2012, 3:29 PM
@ Teabag yea man that scene was boss. my jaw was on the floor that whole scene . My favourite scenes at the moment
Loki's arrival that was just boss
Cap saving the people in the bank
Hulk and Thor fight
That sweeping scene through n
ew York going through new York ( final battle )
TruePunishment - 5/4/2012, 3:50 PM
Saw it at midnight, holy shit! Awesome, epic, amazing, words that don't even come close to describing this sheer work of nerdy goodness! "I'll have that drink now." Haha and I loved how Cap took the leadership role and it didn't seem forced at all, a se ins viewing is a must!
Zarog - 5/4/2012, 3:54 PM
Gotta say that this was the special effects movie of the year. I highly doubt any other movie will come close to putting out the stunning visuals that this had. It puts the rest of the Marvel movies to shame.
MarkV - 5/4/2012, 4:29 PM
@marvel72

Yes! You know that hammer was tearing through all kinds of shit just to get to him.
hero4life - 5/4/2012, 4:47 PM
hey hawk eye stills the show
peppy - 5/4/2012, 4:59 PM
Sorry on second thought my favourite scene was when the civilians were all describing seeing the avengers in action , that was some good shit .
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