Costing a whopping 321 million dollars to produce, Infinity War’s budget didn’t just go on reuniting some of the biggest names in Hollywood. A huge whack of it went on state of the art VFX.
(VFX by DNEG)
Characters like Proxima Midnight and Corvus Glaive were actually completely CGI. Despite being played by Carrie Coon and Michael Shaw, all of their acting scenes were done in a mo-cap suit which was later used to rig their digital counterparts.
(VFX by Rise)
Sam Jackson plays Nick Fury in the Avengers films. However (Spoiler Alert) in the end credits after Thanos has snapped his fingers, Nick Fury is headed downtown with his closest agent Maria Hill. When suddenly half of the world’s population starts to disappear. CGI helicopters crash into buildings and all kinds of chaos ensues. This is when Fury looks at Hill and she starts to disintegrate. Using a clever mix of rotomotion, matchmoving and 3D models, VFX artists then added a soft wind to disrupt and carry away the outside shell of the 3d model, with a combination of RBD and FEM simulations. Pulling off this very convincing shot.
A similar technique was planned for Nick Fury after he grabs Captain Marvel’s pager, but in the end, the studio decided to discard Sam Jackson’s original plate, and switch over to a full CGI environment and a 3D model of Fury from the production of Winter Soldier used to bind together flakes and sand until affected by the soft wind. This way, they avoided more complicated matchmoving and rotoscoping headaches.
In this Wakanda sequence, we see Okoye and King T’challa strolling along a field which was actually a grassy hill in Atlanta. Thousands of trees and shrubbery was added using SpeedTree and Houdini. Also, many assets were pulled in from the Black Panther production and parts of the Golden City which were done by ILM.
(VFX by CineSite)
In his quest to steal one of the infinity stones from Thanos, Ebony Maw is torturing Dr. Strange aboard the Q ship. The character Ebony Maw was one of CineSite’s most difficult challenges due to him being a 100% CGI model, with some extreme close up shots.
The plate featuring Benedict Cumberbatch was filmed on a half-constructed set in Atlanta and the ship’s interior was then rebuilt using a modular 3D construction, creating an alternative damaged version for later destruction sequences.
Suits, like Stark’s and Parker’s, were CG, and then tracked and mapped to the actors’ bodies, although full cgi models were used when the characters’ masks were on.
CineSite was also tasked with tracking and sticking on the antennae to Mantis’ forehead.
(VFX by Framestore)
It was Framestore’s first time working with Spiderman and looked through past movies for inspiration. It has a metallic-sheen and allows Spidey to breathe in space as well as adding an additional layer of armour. Not to mention an additional 4 legs…
Framestore’s Capture Lab spent a month in Manhattan and New Jersey shooting photo reference, LIDAR and gigapixel panoramas to capture the environments that had to be recreated in CG.
Framestore also worked closely with Marvel for two years, designing Iron Man’s new Mark 50 “bleeding edge” suit. As opposed to the earlier movies, his new suit is made up of thousands of nanobots which rush into place on command, comprised of many different simulations and layers within Houdini.
(VFX by Digital Domain)
The pressure was on Digital Domain to make Thanos seem like a living and breathing super-villain, some would say the success of the whole movie hinged on his performance being believable. Thanks to their hard work alongside Weta Digital, Thanos is one of the most convincing CGI villains in cinema history.
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