If there is something that superhero films stand out for, it is undoubtedly their post-production. The spectacular results, however, are not just from a single study. As an example, seven VFX studios worked on the sequel to Spiderman: Far From Home.
These were: ILM, Framestore, Imageworks VFX, Luma Pictures, Image Engine, Rising Sun Pictures, and Scanline VFX. They all worked on VFX for Spider-Man: Far From Home. Each focused on one aspect of it.
Thus, Method Studios carried out the speedboat sequence through the canals of Venice. They took it upon themselves to replace the suits for Spiderman. However, they weren’t starting from scratch, as they own some of the previous Spider-Man Homecoming work. Special attention was paid to the muscles to make them stand out from the suit, as well as improved lighting and setting for the sequence.
Bringing Mysterio’s powers to life
For its part, Framestore delivered 140 visual effects shots in eight weeks for the film. Here Framestore was able to unleash their creativity to showcase Mysterio’s menacing power play. The VFX Supervisor for this sequence was Alexis Wajsbrot, who previously worked on Marvel Studios’ Doctor Strange and Thor: Ragnarok as well. First brainstormed with references to other movies, storyboards and finally concept art were created to put the spider-hero in some pretty scary situations.
For its creation, the company modeled the scenes in 2D and used a 2.5D projection technique, as well as archive material. The goal was to create the sequence of the Shield offices in Berlin and the creations of Mysterio, who is an expert in creating immersive Virtual Reality experiences. Something that Framestore has years of experience in. They had to create designs from scratch, but also took advantage of such simple effects as creating green smoke or crooked elements of the scene. All this emphasizing that restlessness in which you no longer know how to differentiate what is real from what is merely illusory.
Peter is thrown into a series of conjured illusions meant to scare him; a school hallway stretches endlessly into darkness, with flickering horror-movie-style lights. A terrified MJ falls out of his reach, from the top of a stylized Eiffel Tower. Spider-Man is drawn into a disorienting hyperlapse effect toward a miniature version of Aunt May’s house. Reflections of Spider-Man in shards of glass spring to life and attack.
Spider-Man and Mysterio engage in combat against a backdrop of the Valley of the Fallen; a graveyard with peeking statues of fallen heroes from Endgame. A zombified iron man emerges from his grave with a head that is half skull, half helmet. Spider-Man is trapped in a snow globe with the New York skyline, in the hands of a giant Mysterio.
Spider-Man moves seamlessly between scenes, occasionally returning to the real world before sinking further into his nightmare.
Very creative technical solutions had to be given in the battles and they had the luxury of eliminating shots in the scenes. But they also used familiar effects like when Spider-Man enters and exits the illusionary world with a blue transition called the BARF effect, also used by Iron Man in Captain America: Civil War.
Another effect that is used again is holograms, an effect that we already saw in Captain Marvel and Thor: Ragnarok. This last effect was the responsibility of Rising Sun Picture who premieres like this in the spidey sagas. This studio delivered more than 100 visual effects shots, including an explanation of the Elementals’ origins.
The hologram had to be consistent with the technology already seen with Tony Stark and Guardians of the Galaxy. But also, coincide with the action and dialogue of the actors. For its part, the studio’s 2D department was responsible for adding the effects, compositing the action and CG effects, and rendering the sequence.
As you can deduce, it is no longer a single studio that is in charge of developing the VFX, but rather multiple companies that share the same project. Of course, under a strict program of deliveries and supervision of Marvel Studios.
Therefore, one of the options in which you can work is to specialize in the creation of scenarios or in the development of characters or the creation of special effects.