Visual Effects Rundown for Marvel's THE AVENGERS

Highlighting key sequences from Marvel's The Avengers, including the Hulk's showdown with Loki, the Helicarrier and much more, hit the jump for a VFX rundown including new still photos!

Follow DCMarvelFreshman:
By DCMarvelFreshman - 5/6/2012

As mentioned days ago, at least ten visual effects companies are credited for their work on the anticipated assembly of Marvel's The Avengers. And now Mike Seymour of fxguide has assembled a rundown on all the vfx studios - ILM, Weta Digital, Hydraulx, Fuel VFX, Evil Eye Pictures, Luma Pictures, Trixter, Whiskytree, Digital Domain, The Third Floor and more - and their specific contributions to the movie. Highlighting key sequences, check out excerpts from the full-length rundown (link below) in addition to new still photos.

The Hulk

Labeling the "puny god" scene between Loki and Hulk a hybrid shot, where the Goliath slams the mischief-maker around Tony Stark's pad, ILM’s vfx supervisor Jeff White says it blended captured face & body animation with key frame animation. Dotting particularly on the dialogue lip sync for the Hulk's "puny god" line, White says, "He has some interesting mouth shapes there, when we first applied the motion capture, he looked a little ‘fish lipped’ – it was difficult for us, as there was quite a lot of subtlety – just a few pixels difference on where his eye lids were or where his eye brow was – could really change his expression quite a bit. That shot in particular, with him delivering that line of dialogue – we spent a lot of time in animation – just tuning the shape of the mouth and tuning the delivery – to get it just right," says White.

ILM did Hulk in this sequence, FUEL VFX did the post Hulk - Loki reaction shots

Launching the Helicarrer

Several VFX companies contributed to the S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier, one of which is Scanline VFX who finished early reveal shots of the ship. The company's supervisor Bryan Grill reveals, "There were a couple of shots where we were looking at the water and you couldn’t tell if it was getting ready to submerge, so we took a lot of care to make sure we didn’t give the gag up too early. Once you start seeing it lift out of the water and see the fans, you get what it’s going to be. For this," notes Grill, "we received ILM’s model and then added more detail where we needed. We would throw it through every one of our cameras that we were going to be rendering. They allowed us to add things in as well and also to keep the scale, so that when we did get to the water sims it did look like a three football fields-long thing. And then our updated models also went back to ILM to Weta for some of their shots as well."

Dotting on the Helicarrier's cloaking device, Grill says We wanted it to look like it was technology that might exist. There’s a lot of new technology coming out where materials or paints have LED-type of science. That’s what we based it off – a film or paint on the outside of the carrier. It’s out there now in real life – you can print on any material and have it light up with LED lights. We referenced the idea of a Jumbotron at a sporting event which when it activates you see the pixels light up. And so we took that all the way to the point of seeing the clouds distorted and refracted. It wasn’t 100% invisible – there’s almost that almost Predator outline – but if you were far away you would never know it was there. It was all UV driven. We got the UVs of the carrier and the attached pieces and started creating different wipes and smaller subsets of transitions."

Hawkeye's Attack

For the sequence involving Hawkeye flying up to the Helicarrier, under Loki's mind-control, which followed with Captain America and Iron Man attempting to repair the blown up rotors, Weta Digital used shared assets from ILM to worked on these shots.

Weta visual effects supervisor Guy Williams says, "Firstly we came up with a new paint scheme for the Quinjet Hawkeye was in to make it look like a mercenary jet, as opposed to one of the S.H.I.E.L.D ones. Then we took ILM’s model of the Helicarrier and dressed in a lot of dressing, so we had lots of little pieces of the Helicarrier that we could then paint back onto it. So when we got into a close-up we would add double the amount of polygons that you’re seeing in the frame, and all these little piping and boxes and hatches detail all over the surface. The closer you got to it, you still felt like you were getting more detail.”

Weta's last contribution involving the Helicarrier featured Loki tricking Thor into the iso-cell, and then sending him plunging to the ground. Williams joked, "In every shot he fell through clouds – every shot! It helped with showing him falling, even though there aren’t that many layers of clouds normally. It was a bit of a cheat but it allowed us to get a sense of travel and scale. That first shot – where you’re looking up at the Helicarrier and the iso-cell whip pans passed you and you travel with it as it falls down along a cliff face of a cloud. The fact that it’s all three-dimensional really gives you a sense of vertigo and a sense you’re falling with the iso-cell."

"We also tracked Thor for all the 3D shots and then rendered back a digi double for all the reflections on the glass," explains Wiliams. "And we ray traced the iso cell into the glass so you also saw the proper occlusions of light and sky in the glass. But we sometimes had to turn those off because what looks correct isn’t always correct. But we always set out to do what’s right first, because if you start from there you’re always at a much better point than if you just ignore realism and try to be artistic. You’re still being artistic but you’re basing it on what the eye can see."

There's much, MUCH more key sequences from the movie highlighted in the complete rundown. Among them including Thor's battle Iron Man, the Helicarrier bridge, Tony Stark's HUD view and the closing credits sequence, hit the jump over to the head on over to the FxGuide. And check out additional stills from the article below!

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.

Source: FXGuide
DISCLAIMER: This article was submitted by a volunteer contributor who has agreed to our code of conduct. is protected from liability under the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA) and "safe harbor" provisions. CBM will disable users who knowingly commit plagiarism, piracy, trademark or copyright infringement. Please contact us for expeditious removal of copyrighted/trademarked content. You may also learn more about our copyright and trademark policies HERE.
JDUKE25 - 5/6/2012, 10:57 PM
Those credits were pretty cool.
thewolfx - 5/6/2012, 11:38 PM
best movie ever !!!!!!!

[frick] your opinion!
mikesinuman - 5/6/2012, 11:41 PM
to mr. whedon, if you're reading this can you help warner bros make a JUSTICE LEAGUE movie, something that us fans will love? PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE. ^_^
SkaarJones - 5/6/2012, 11:49 PM
Thank you Mr. Whedon! This movie was beyond expectations after waiting a lifetime to see it.
CPBuff22 - 5/6/2012, 11:59 PM
On my fourth viewing I notices that during the one on one dialog scenes the shots were set up like comic book panels. I will give an example:

Wide view of Steve Rogers as Nick Fury enters room.
Zoom to Nick Furys face as they talk.
Wide view of Fury & Rogers as Fury hands Rogers a file.
Over Rogers shoulder shot of the file.
Wide view of Rogers picking up punching bag and walking away.

That pretty much how the page layout for that scene in a comic would look as well.
DEATHbyEXILE - 5/7/2012, 12:01 AM
DCwanabe - 5/7/2012, 12:20 AM

I cant wait to see it again.
Sanderman - 5/7/2012, 12:43 AM
The only thing that bothered me in the movie and its a small one is how many times Thor dropped his hammer. Seriously watch it again and you'll notice it. Still an amazing movie though
GUNSMITH - 5/7/2012, 3:35 AM
Mrcool210 - 5/7/2012, 4:11 AM
GREAT FILM, Cant wait to see it again
jazzman - 5/7/2012, 4:33 AM

of cause they are in shock. look how Joss bring a comic book hero team movie to work well on the big screen. its the first time ever. well X-Men might be the first team on film but all the movies was about Wolverine never felt like a team.


f**king hell WTF u bring in this whole nolanite crap in this article.
R888 - 5/7/2012, 4:53 AM

Watch it 8 times
joejoelittle - 5/7/2012, 5:03 AM
Does anyone have a copy or still of the final scene of the Avengers all together after the battle?? ...not in the streets, but when they are all possed to fight loki! thanks!!
sianirudh94 - 5/7/2012, 5:09 AM
Loved it. Watched it twice and I LOVE THE THOR VS HULK! That uppercut, man! :D
breakUbatman - 5/7/2012, 5:15 AM
Really guys? Do you think Nolan watched Avengers and said I wish my movie was like that - he intentionally went for a different tone.

Anyways props to Josh not the "best movie ever" or "best cbm" for me but I'll definitely call it this generations Star Wars.
Greengo - 5/7/2012, 5:45 AM
I'll admit I was hopeful but skeptical of Joss Whedon's ability to pull this off.

Glad he did and gave us such a stunner.

It wasn't 100% perfect. I would say about 90% +/- perfect.

Hulk rag doll Loki and sucker punch Thor where my two favorite scenes and garnered the greatest audience reaction.

MakioGrant - 5/7/2012, 7:13 AM
Even the credits are [frick]ing awesome.
Amazing Movie
Fogs - 5/7/2012, 7:21 AM
Best CBM for me by far. Been waiting for it for almost my whole life, since I first read my very first marvel comic.
Fogs - 5/7/2012, 7:21 AM
And @iLoveMarvelAndDC - I didn't got the reference here, wtf was that?
Fray - 5/7/2012, 7:39 AM
The Loki/Hulk fight was hilarious! The audience cheered and clapped through the whole scene. Very good movie!
Kazaam - 5/7/2012, 7:45 AM
Best Credits off all time, no doubt about it.
CrowPirate1 - 5/7/2012, 8:16 AM

I agree. When the Hulk sucker punched Thor... a howl rose up in the audience....

and it was even louder when he flopped Loki back and forth like a doll.. they were STILL howling when Hulk said "Puny god..." I didn't catch what he said until the third time I saw the movie! lol Too many people still laughing in the first two times.. but the first early morning showing on Sunday 9:30 AM was the trick to hear what he said!

sigh.. I need a life....

drfate - 5/7/2012, 8:32 AM
thanks, I thought the Hulk said, "bully that" after killing that spider with Loki's face.

@Kazaam, I thought the same thing too, the credit graphics were awesome.
Wildaniel - 5/7/2012, 8:47 AM
They movie was GREAT!
InFamouslyCool - 5/7/2012, 9:01 AM
..This movie was great and people are still dick riding Nolan's name.
BlueScarab - 5/7/2012, 9:28 AM
Gerrit - 5/7/2012, 9:48 AM
The best CBM of all time. It is actually one of my favorite movies, if not my favorite, of all time. It's just too damn good in every aspect.
Gerrit - 5/7/2012, 10:14 AM
And I should point out that the end credits are fantastic. I still didn't get too pay full attention to them but next time I see The Avengers, I will.
thingrock4 - 5/7/2012, 3:28 PM
@iLoveMarvelAndDC-you are a giant DOUCHEBAG.NUFF SAID!!!!MAKE MINE MARVEL!!!!!
EarOne - 5/8/2012, 10:45 AM
hmm..kinda disappointed that WETA D didn't do the Hulk cgi. it coulda been better.

anyway...this is by far my most favorite film of all time, just under The Godfather 1 & 2 and The Lord of the Rings trilogy.

Please log in to post comments.

Don't have an account?
Please Register.