×

How an Army of Artists Around the World Mobilized to Create ‘Avengers: Endgame’

For “Avengers: Endgame,” the VFX-rich conclusion of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the team raised the stakes higher than ever for one last time, complete with an epic battle.

To pull off the biggest fighting scene Marvel had ever created for any of the franchise’s 23 movies—a showdown between the Avengers and Thanos (played by Josh Brolin)—the studio mobilized its VFX battalions, including ILM, DNEG, Cinesite, Framestore, Digital Domain, Rise VFX, Lola VFX, Cantina Creative, Capital T, Technicolor VFX and Territory Studio. Weta Digital, using a green screen, created most of the battle.

But it wasn’t just the war scenes that relied upon the VFX army. The new environments in the film were all computer-generated worlds and planets, including Titan, Kamar-Taj, Contraxia, “Black Panther’s” Wakanda and “Thor’s” New Asgard.

For the scenes featuring “Smart Hulk,” a mash-up of Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) and his alter-ego, “Hulk,” Marvel turned to Framestore to create the hybrid character. Paying attention to every facial expression and muscle movement, they captured Mark Ruffalo’s performance and blended in effects for the emerging Hulk, using a combination of animation and machine-learning technology. The result: a CG character that strikes a nuanced balance between the Incredible Hulk and Banner’s human side.

Costumes for the film were also created through VFX, partly due to shooting schedules and time constraints. During shooting the actors donned suits that were later replaced with the help of VFX teams. Framestore crafted digi-doubles for the Quantum suits using nanobot technology; they also used CG for the helmets that manifest before the Avengers go out to save the world and defeat Thanos.

Popular on Variety

Meanwhile, over at Digital Domain and Weta, Thanos was brought to life, using motion capture sessions with Brolin.

More Artisans

  • Netflix headquarters in Los Gatos, California,

    Alison Small Set to Lead Training for Netflix in U.K. (EXCLUSIVE)

    Alison Small, CEO of The Production Guild of Great Britain, is in discussions to join Netflix as head of its training initiatives out of the U.K., Variety has learned. The Production Guild, whose members include line producers, production managers and location managers, among others, advertised for a new CEO last week. Its chair is Alex [...]

  • The Gentlemen Costume Design

    How Costume, Production Pros Used Class Style to Define Guy Ritchie’s ‘The Gentlemen’

    For Guy Ritchie’s newest crime-meets-action film “The Gentlemen,” about an American drug kingpin living in Britain and trying to sell his business, the director turned to his “Aladdin” team of costume designer Michael Wilkinson and production designer Gemma Jackson. But the backgrounds and looks they created had less to do with Arabian Nights than with [...]

  • Frozen 2 Rocketman Avengers Endgame

    'Avengers: Endgame,' 'Frozen 2,' 'Rocketman' Take Top Honors at Lumiere Awards

    “Frozen 2” led the Advanced Imaging Society’s Lumiere Awards on Wednesday. The hit Disney sequel was honored with three Lumieres for immersive animated feature film, original song and use of HDR. Director Jennifer Lee was on hand to accept the prizes during a ceremony at Warner Bros. Studios in Burbank, Calif. The Advanced Imaging Society [...]

  • 1917 Movie

    How the '1917' Special Effects Makeup Team Created Realistic Dead Bodies

    Prior to working on “1917,” special effects artist Tristan Versluis had designed no more than five or six corpses. But Sam Mendes, director of the WWI drama, which has garnered 10 Oscar nominations, needed Versluis, who picked up one of those noms in the hair and makeup category, to create 30 corpses and dead horses, [...]

  • The Irishman

    Editor Thelma Schoonmaker on Cutting Martin Scorsese's 'The Irishman'

    When Thelma Schoonmaker heard about her Oscar nomination for “The Irishman,” she had just stepped off a plane from England. Martin Scorsese’s assistant had texted her about the news, one of the first people to do so. “The Irishman” received a total of ten nominations and was unlike anything Scorsese had done before. “He wanted [...]

  • David O. Russell

    David O. Russell Looks at 'Three Kings' 20 Years Later

    When David O. Russell made “Three Kings” in 1999, it was one of the most definitive films on the Gulf War. At the time, the director had worked on shorts “Hairway to the Stars” and “Bingo Inferno: A Parody on American Obsessions.” He had also worked on features “Spanking the Monkey” and “Flirting with Disaster.” [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content