A couple of days ago Industrial Light and Magic, a special effects company founded by George Lucas himself posted a video breaking down the CGI magic in Avengers: Infinity War. The three-minute long video takes apart the final battle scene of Wakanda and gives us a glimpse into just how the technicians work their magic on a blank canvas.
The content shown in this video is quite astonishing and portrays the amount of hard work that goes into producing a movie like Infinity War. Anyone who’s watched the movie knows how impeccable the CGI was and how on point it needed to be to be impactful in a story like this.
Avengers: Infinity War was the culmination of over a decade of moviemaking as evidenced by the fact that over 40 superheroes were involved in the project and the movie closed off every major subplot that Marvel had begun in the last decade. The sheer magnitude on which a movie like this operates is mind-boggling but one might get some perspective upon viewing the above-mentioned video.
The video, as presented by Industrial Light and Magic strips away the charm of CGI and presents it to the viewer bare bones so we can appreciate the tiny details. We see how these scenes were shot. We see what colors the directors avoid to get the perfect shot for CGI editors, and we see just how much effort goes into perfecting the battle sequences.
It is not a widely known fact that 10 seconds of good CGI takes months, sometimes years to produce, and an unlimited amount of manpower and effort. We are a society that survives on sensationalism and artificially beautiful things so it makes sense that we fall in love with our tools of entertainment and create the best possible looking movies we possibly can. Infinity War did not disappoint in this regard.
The only qualms viewers had about the CGI was that Thanos looked a bit off and that’s about it. And even that criticism was aimed at the color of Thanos’ skin and not the structure of his face. The rest of the entirety of the movie was praised for its CGI among other things.
We see in the video how the creators fleshed out key battle sequences and crucial moments of the final battle, namely the battle sequence between Corvus glaive and Hulkbuster armor and the breach of Wakanda. The entirety of Thanos’ Chitauri army was pure CGI and to see that even the water at their feet was a part of the movie magic really blows our mind.
The Academy Award nominations are due January 22nd and it will not be a stretch to assume that Infinity War will receive a nomination for Best CGI of the Year. The graphics were so impeccable that it’s hard to believe that these heroes do not exist and function in real life as they do right in front of us on the silver screen. And that is the purpose of a good movie, to help perpetuate escapism, is it not?
I wonder if all of this will be carried forward into Avengers: Endgame. I would like to hope so. It is my sincere request from both Marvel and Disney to let us see the Hulk this time around. Maybe you can find an allocation in the CGI budget for that? Let’s hope so. The Hulk has been missed a lot during the events of Infinity War and we would love to see him retake his anger, integrity and self-confidence back from Thanos while he kicks his ass.
Avengers: Endgame comes out April 26, 2019. The cast is impeccable as some of the biggest names are part of the project including Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man), Chris Evans (Captain America), Sebastian Stan (Winter Soldier), Chris Pratt (Starlord), Chris Hemsworth (Thor), Idris Elba (Heimdall), Tom Hiddleston (Loki), Dave Bautista (Drax), Pom Klementieff (Mantis), Mark Ruffalo (Hulk), Scarlett Johansson (Black Widow), Samuel Jackson (Nick Fury), Cobie Smulders (Mariah Hill), Jeremy Reiner (Hawkeye), Benedict Wong (Wong), Benedict Cumberbatch (Dr. Strange), Tom Holland (Spiderman), Letitia Wright (Shuri), Chadwick Boseman (Black Panther), Paul Rudd (Ant-Man), Elizabeth Olsen (Scarlett Witch), Paul Bettany (Vision), Bradley Cooper (Rocket Raccoon), Vin Diesel (Groot), Zoe Saldana (Gamora), Karen Gillan (Nebula), Josh Brolin (Thanos).