Whether you are an aspiring VFX professional or a superhero movie enthusiast, you are here because you are impressed by the visual effects of the original MCU series, The Falcon and The Winter Soldier.
The MCU, for more than a decade has been carrying the Torch of legendary CGI epics. But lately they have been trying to shift your attention from heavily CG-ed wars to grounded and realistic TV series like The Falcon and The Winter Soldier. These shows have given us CGI scenes so perfect that none of us could have ever doubted it to not be real. From the aerial chase in the first episode and a few others that we would be exploring shortly. And who other than Weta Digital could have been trusted with such epic sequences amidst the global pandemic!
The show received a total of five award nominations including a nomination for a 2021 Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Special Visual Effects. The VFX team involved was supervised by Charlie Tait who alongside Eric Leven have been part of the Weta digital team for over two decades. You may not have heard his name but we are pretty sure that you would have enjoyed his work, which includes Avengers: Infinity War, Deadpool, Alita: Battle Angel, and Game Of Thrones Season 8. K
Meant for theaters, the production had a blockbuster budget with each of the six episodes reportedly costing $25 million and featuring a total of 2,500 visual effects shots.
Here are our top 3 favourite breakdowns of the VFX shots:
Establishing shots of Madripoor were entirely CGed with Hong Kong as the key reference for it. The uniquely shaped sky-scrapers and the dense slum was a mixture of on-set special effects and VFX. It’s amazing how they could show the stark contrast between the slum life and the riches all through CG, since Madipoor was essentially a pirate city.
Canyon chase sequence
It was the first of the sequence to make us realise the brilliance of MCU’s execution of fight scenes. But what makes it unique from the ones we saw in the movies was the different visual language using the GoPro mount.
Digital double of Walker
The Walker you saw running and jumping through the window was a CG John Walker. A stunt double enacted the fall through the window on the car but the dents, exploding car windows, and the smashing through the house window was CGed. It might seem simple to create it but calculating the intensity of the smash is challenging.
Some scenes had digital doubles of both Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan. And since they have been in the MCU for a long time, they have become a few of the recognisable faces in the industry. Thus there wasn’t any room for the slightest of the mistakes in creating their CGs.
The trucks were absolutely stationary! The only thing moving was the CGI-Ed road. The road was moved at the required speed (120km/s) while adding bits of rocks, dirt and dust being kicked up subtly to enhance realism in the scene. In addition to that the sequence was shot in Atlanta (USA) and thus sign boards and surrounding environment was required to be transformed to that of Germany.
Marvel is stepping up the game for other superhero franchises like The Boys (Prime) and the DCEU. We believe there are much more surprises waiting for us in ‘Doctor Strange: Multiverse of Madness’.