Dave Schaub On The Design Process Of THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2's Villains

Dave Schaub On The Design Process Of THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2's Villains

For those of you who don't know, Dave Schaub is the Director of Animation at Sony Pictures Imageworks, and in this recent interview he got the chance to discuss the story behind the deigns The Amazing Spider-Man 2's main villains.

We are proud to live in an age of amazing visual effects in movies. Many aspects of our favorite comic book movies have ground-breaking and truly amazing visuals, while others need a bit of improvement. The effects on all three of our villains in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 are praised by many, while others didn't like the designs as much. The Director of Animation at Sony Pictures Imageworks Dave Schaub sat down with ComicBook and discussed how villains evolved through the design process and how they ended up with the designs. He started with the main villain, Electro.

Electro was probably the most time consuming as far as getting the character realized,” Schaub said. “The basis for all of the close-up work is real photography of Jamie Foxx. He’s wearing prosthetics on his face, so all of the imperfections that result through a day of shooting needs to be digitally cleaned up as the first step. From there, a specialized team of animators track his performance including the soft tissue of his face so that effects applied downstream register precisely to his performance. There’s an interior structure to his face, and vein detail on the surface needs to slide over the interior structure in a natural and organic way.”

“Green Goblin is another case of practical prosthetics on the first level,” he explained “We have Harry Osborn who, through a genetic mutation, has been transformed into the goblin. Actor Dane Dehaan wore a practical battlesuit for the close-ups, and rode on a mechanical rig driven by hydraulics. An animated version of the glider was added later by the team at Imageworks, and tracked to the performance in the photography.”

“The Rhino had to function as both a biped and quadruped,” Schaub said. “That means standing on two legs, as well as all four’s and be able to transition between the two states in a natural way. Not only was it a tricky engineering challenge, but it was the movement studies that defined the final configuration of the design. He was originally built with the proportions of a rhinoceros, but he looked pretty silly when standing as a biped on those stubby little rhino legs. As a result, the legs were beefed up to make him more imposing in that pose. Only through the process of animating do we get an impression of how the final design should be configured. So there’s a lot of back-and-forth between departments to flesh out something that works on all levels. Marc’s original idea was to make Rhino a little clunky and sort of hobbled together with spare parts. As a result, our early movement tests reflected a rickety style of movement that had a comedic flare to it. Over time, the Rhino became a more formidable and imposing character for the final standoff with Spider-Man. Again, all of this comes about through a process of discovery, and it’s always fun to give these different ideas a try. You never know where those exploration paths will lead you.”

"In “The Amazing Spider-Man™ 2,” for Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield), life is busy – between taking out the bad guys as Spider-Man and spending time with the person he loves, Gwen (Emma Stone), high school graduation can’t come quickly enough. Peter hasn’t forgotten about the promise he made to Gwen’s father to protect her by staying away – but that’s a promise he just can’t keep. Things will change for Peter when a new villain, Electro (Jamie Foxx), emerges, an old friend, Harry Osborn (Dane DeHaan), returns, and Peter uncovers new clues about his past. The film is directed by Marc Webb from a screenplay by Alex Kurtzman & Roberto Orci & Jeff Pinkner, with a previous draft by James Vanderbilt, and based on the Marvel Comic Book by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko. Avi Arad and Matt Tolmach are the producers. The latest chapter in the Spider-Man story is set for release in 3D on May 2, 2014."

Starring Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker/Spider-Man, Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy, Shailene Woodley as Mary Jane Watson, Jamie Foxx as Max Dillon/Electro, Sally Fields as Aunt May, Dane DeHaan as Harry Osborn, and Paul Giamatti as Aleksei Sytsevich/The Rhino, you can check out Marc Webb's THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2 when it hits US theaters May 2nd, 2014.
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