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Captain America: The First Avenger

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Director Joe Johnston wanted to bring to Captain America the same kind of excitement and adventure as his earlier films, including Jumanji and Jurassic Park III. The production turned to Method Studios to create practical and CG elements for certain challenging sequences, 28 shots in all.

TERROR IN THE SKIES


A major scene in which Captain America bails out of an airplane while behind enemy lines, contained substantial VFX work by Method.

A CG plane for exterior shots was generated, which was then composited with footage of the real plane in order to develop a night look that couldn't be accomplished practically. The Method team also added multiple layers of flak and tracer fire to the outside environment.

An interior set of the plane was built and rigged with gimbals on a green screen stage so it would appear to shake as realistically as possible. Actor Chris Evans was filmed jumping out of the mocked-up fuselage onto a mat below against green screen. To build up the final scene Method's artists used MAYA to create the environment outside the plane, including sky and clouds, as well as the gunfire. They also built a model of the plane's interior, which allowed further refinement of the practical moves to more precisely represent the shaking that the plane would really undergo during such a daredevil ride.

VIRTUAL CAPTAIN AMERICA


In order to translate actor Evans' jump out of the plane into a full scale parachute jump, the Method artists had to quickly transition the live actor to a digital model. The Method team received a cyberscan of Evans, which they imported into MAYA. The scan data didn't include the Captain America costume and so this had to be simulated in 3D. The model was imported into ZBrush to add details and textures and to help make such elements as his jumpsuit backpack, goggles and shield totally believable. The parachute itself was animated using Ncloth.

The elements shot on the set, the CG components and the background plates shot above the Swiss Alps were then all composited together in Nuke to create the final, breathtaking sequence.


Keywords

  • FX
  • Hard surface
  • Compositing
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