Thor


FEATURE FILM
ROLE: Senior Flame Artist / VFX Compositor
VENDOR: Digital Domain
CLIENT: Marvel Entertainment
VFX SUPERVISOR: Kelly Port
DIRECTOR: Kenneth Branaugh

My contribution to Marvel Entertainment’s “Thor” consisted of a brief yet significant flashback sequence, depicting mischievous brother Loki’s origins as a Frost Giant baby discovered by King Odin.

Originally, the shots were intended to be quick color corrections to depict the Frost Giant baby, the skin color of which is blue. But following a late redesign of the sequence, Marvel requested that the baby also feature the signature Frost Giant scarification on its body and head.

With no time in the schedule for a full CG solution, the sequence was turned over to Flame for a 2D fix. Myself, along with Sam Edwards, worked on these shots, primarily relying on 2D projections and geometry object tracks to matchmove the scarification to the baby’s smooth jiggling flesh. Also, long hours of hand-tracking and bicubic warping factored heavily into the solution.

Technical challenges included object tracking on multiple axes without markers, as well as close-up handheld photography, offering no distinct environmental or body features to aid in the tracking.

The Incredible Hulk


FEATURE FILM
ROLE: Flame Artist | VFX Compositor
VENDOR: Hydraulx
CLIENT: Marvel Entertainment | Universal Pictures
VFX SUPERVISOR: Chris Wells
DIRECTOR: Louis Leterrier

For Marvel Entertainment’s “The Incredible Hulk,” I was tasked primarily with shots for the “University Raid” sequence, which consisted of extensive field clean-up, sky replacements, debris enhancement, the addition of rain, and of course, a CG Hulk.

As shot, the footage featured overcast skies throughout. As scripted, an oncoming storm mirrors the escalating rage of Bruce Banner’s Hulk, as he attempts to evade capture. As the action-packed sequence nears its conclusion, and the Hulk escapes, the storm reaches its peak, extinguishing the fiery damage caused during the sequence.

Seemingly straightforward, the sky replacements and clean-ups proved otherwise. The footage was shot anamorphic. The mostly hand-held camera-work was bouncing everywhere, plagued with high-frequency jitter. And the director strictly chose not to manipulate the plates, as is common practice in most compositing, to blend any of the sky replacements, as well as the grass clean-up and rig removal. Consequently, this added an extra degree of difficulty to some already challenging shots.

In addition to tackling a number of sky replacements and clean-ups, I also contributed to a few night helicopter shots, leading up to the film’s finale, where Bruce says his farewells to Betty before leaping to battle the Abomination.

Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer


FEATURE FILM
ROLE: Flame Artist | VFX Compositor
VENDOR: Hydraulx
CLIENT: Marvel Entertainment | 20th Century Fox
VFX SUPERVISOR: Jake Morrison
DIRECTOR: Tim Story

For the highly anticipated sequel to Marvel Entertainment’s “Fantastic Four,” I worked on a number of complex sequences, primarily consisting of Reed Richard’s bachelor party and his subsequent wedding to Sue Storm.

For the bachelor party, Reed’s encouraged by his fellow teammates to loosen up and have a good time. In his case, that means showing off his super-stretchy flexible dance moves, with twisting torso, and extending arms and legs. CG extensions and creative plate photography, as well as 2D deformations, made Reed the life of the party.

For the rooftop wedding, Sue takes center-stage, where she stops a renegade helicopter that tears through the seating arrangement. Shot practically, with a full size helicopter body on a hydraulic rig, this sequence required extensive clean-up to remove the rig and its track, as well as replace hundreds of chairs and rebuild portions of wedding guests, background buildings, and subsequent debris.

In addition to these more prominent sequences, I also composited the hero establishing shot of the CG Baxter building, some wide shots of the London Eye collapsing, a moment where Johnny Storm acquires Reed’s stretchy powers, and a fair amount of miscellaneous clean-up, roto, and, tracking.