Wow, that gang from Io9 spent some time at Industrial Light and Magic and got the low-down on many behind-the-scenes EFX aspects of The Avengers, and some if it is pretty insightful material, giving you a feel on how some aspects of the the movie were shot.
Let’s check it out, and don’t worry too much, I’ve scrubbed a lot of what could be spoilers from The Avengers movie… mostly:
For some shots, The Hulk started out as a bodybuilder wearing green body paint. This way they could get a feel for how Hulk looked or fitted in a scene.
They had an athlete wearing the mo-cap suit for some scenes, and they based Hulk’s his motion off of apes.
They also chose to keep the Hulk at near normal (sort of) size and limited some of his strength, all in the focus of staying as close to real-world as possible… with a big, green, gamma radiated guy.
Joss Whedon took the training wheels off of Iron Man. They added the backpack thruster so he would stop needing to use his hands for stability. (I kind of got used to that, but I like how Whedon brought IM back to his core comic visual self.)
Robert Downey Jr. rarely wears a full Iron Man suit because it’s pretty uncomfortable. But there is a get up called the football suit that mimics most of the suit that he does wear.
If you’ve seen the movie, you know what I’m talking about, if you haven’t, I’m leaving a lot out to not spoil you… but they say that when Hulk punches Thor, that was one of the hardest shots they had to work at to get right.
Each Avenger had a digital duplicate at times.
It’s harder to make a digital copy of good looking folks, aka, The Black Widow, versus ugly people, aka, The Hulk. There’s more to the intricate details on a woman and making it look real.
When Thor creates that storm cloud of his, it was stock footage they bought rather than making it in-house. Cost vs. time!
They were only in New York for three days. Other shots were of sets built in New Mexico, and many shots were digital representations of the devastated eastern city.
Of course, I expected this, where in most movies, they always add something cheeky, but the crew added some in-jokes to the storefronts in New York city. IE: In the background during the battle there’s a law firm called Kirby & Lee, Attorneys at Law.
The Aliens and Loki
This is a smoothed over tidbit of a scene that I think you want to be surprised by. I’ve edited it highly so if you haven’t seen this, then what’s referenced will still have it’s initial entertainment value:
When The Hulk, um, is facing off with Loki, they added Tom Hiddleston’s real face to the situation between them.
The trick to how the Helicarrier goes stealth in broad daylight, is that they (in the fictional world of S.H.I.E.L.D.) have a huge number of cameras on top of the beast looking up and transmit that image onto LED panels on the bottom of the Helicarrier.
I’ve cut a lot out of Io9′s piece because I can’t, in good faith, replicate everything they’ve dug up for their readers. Not cool. SO there’s a lot more to be said on the production secrets of The Avengers.
On the other hand, if you’re waiting to see the movie on DVD/Blu-ray or rental, there are some spoilers referenced (which I tried to either leave out or filter) over there…. so maybe come back after you’ve seen the movie and then hit up the link, or be brave and charge over there any way.
As it stands, so many sites are publishing deleted and alternate scenes from the movie that I’m actually playing dodge ball and avoiding them myself. I actually want my Blu-ray purchase to have some value when it lands at my door step in a few weeks!