The Avengers (2012)

Lead Digital Matte Artist

The entire third act of Marvel's The Avengers is set in a besieged midtown Manhattan as alien forces attack New York. Not only did the sequences call for extensive coverage of the city, both from the ground and the air, the iconic skyscrapers and city streets also had to endure relentless levels of damage and destruction. The only way to achieve this was by creating the most ambitious digital city visual effect ILM had ever undertaken.

The process began with an extensive location photography shoot where I and three other artists shot thousands of images over a nine week period, covering every angle of midtown and beyond. The photography was then used as a basis for 2.5D projection set ups augmented heavily with rendered 3D assets and 360 degree cycloramas.

As a lead artist my role involved setting up the environment and running shots for the Park Avenue Overpass sequences. I also worked on several one off shots including doing the environment for the longest vfx shot in the movie, where our heroes work together and begin to overcome the alien horde. 

The digital New York was a huge success and audiences had no idea plates of the Avengers had been shot on a sound stage rather than in Manhattan. The work culminated in a VES award win for Outstanding Created Environment presented to myself and three other colleagues who were selected to represent the team.

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