Digital Domain Explain Sebastian Shaw's Unique Display Of Power!

Digital Domain Explain Sebastian Shaw's Unique Display Of Power!

The VFX team who worked on X-Men: First Class finally reveal why the decision was made to alter the look of how Sebastian Shaw's energy absorbing powers in the upcoming movie...

When we first spotted Sebastian Shaw using his powers in an X-Men: First Class TV spot a couple of months ago, there were a lot of questions about the clearly different way the use of his powers were being portrayed. Well, we finally have some answers! Below are a few excerpts taken from the full interview over at Comicus. To read that, be sure to head on over to the site by clicking on the link below in order to hear more from Digital Domain about their work on X-Men: First Class.

What shots and characters did you work on for X-Men: First Class?

Digital Domain created all visual effects and animation related to the Sebastian Shaw character (Kevin Bacon), who has the ability to absorb any kind of energy—punches, bullets, explosions, etc.—and redirect it outward by “kinetic echo” as a kind of weapon/superpower. We worked closely with overall visual effects supervisor John Dykstra to design and establish the ways in which Shaw could absorb and displace energy. Many shots required a completely digital version of Kevin Bacon—sometimes detailed in extreme close up—in order to realize the necessary effects.

Did you base directly on comics for some of the visual effects?

As a matter of fact, Shaw’s ability to absorb energy in the comics is rather plain, and we wanted to create a much more visual and visceral representation of this power. Working closely with John Dykstra on the “kinetic echo,” we decided that Shaw feels extreme pain and discomfort whenever he absorbs energy, but he’s able to withstand the pain because he knows he will be able to use it against those trying to hurt him. So I think you’ll see that Shaw’s powers in the film are much more expressive than what we’ve seen in the comics.

How many shots with visual effects did Digital Domain wholly work on for X-Men: First Class?

In the end we completed 100 visual effects shots, with a good chunk of those set in the “mirror room” on Shaw’s nuclear submarine. But anytime you see visual effects showing the result of Shaw’s “kinetic echo” in the film, that’s us!

Starring James McAvoy as Charles Xavier, Michael Fassbender as Erik Lensherr, Nicholas Hoult as Hank McCoy, Jennifer Lawrence as Raven Darkholme, Lucas Till as Alex Summers/Havok, Caleb Landry Jones as Sean Cassidy/Banshee, Kevin Bacon as Sebastian Shaw, Oliver Platt as the Man in Black, Jason Flemyng as Azazel and Rose Byrne as Moira MacTaggart, X-Men: First Class is set to be released in the UK on June 1st and in the US on June 2nd.

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