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Making of Thor The Dark World by Method Studios
Marvel’s ‘Thor: The Dark World’ continues the big-screen adventures of Thor, the Mighty Avenger, as he battles to save Earth and all the Nine Realms from a shadowy enemy known as Dark Elves.
Method Studio crew was lead by Chad Wiebe, Visual Effects Supervisor, and Visual Effects Producer Whitney Gearin in Los Angeles, with Mark Breakspear and Genevieve West overseeing the team in Vancouver and Matt Dessero assisting in LA. Overall Method completed 105 shots centered on the ‘Greenwich showdown’ sequence. A wide variety of effects work was required including digital characters, vehicles, full CG environments, set extensions and FX simulations.
The sequence begins with the evil Malekith’s Ark Ship descending upon London which included the CG pod and walkway animations.
One of the more complex builds was the development for the ‘Aether’ fired at Thor from the hands of Malekith – a fluid/particulate based substance which transforms into crystalline shards. This required a setup that would allow a blend between an initial fluid surface that forms into fine particulates, as well as larger shards. These elements had to blend together seamlessly and evolve over the course of the shot.
Digital Fight Sequence
While the fight continues, wormhole points appear throughout the courtyard, causing Dark Elves to pop in and out of existence. Method’s team developed the look for these portals which allow for the fast-paced action as characters tumble through the various realms.
The realm known as Svartalfheim called for a fully CG environment consisting of extensive digital matte painting work as well as effects work for the shale winds and interactive dust and debris elements. Digital doubles were created of the main characters along with a car which is also transported to the alien land and tumbles down the mountain alongside Thor and Malekith.
“The shots we were assigned late in the production of the film comprised a broad scope of work including look development,” summarizes Chad. “But one of the biggest challenges, along with that scope of work and the sheer volume of data it required, was that it had to be ready in a short time frame. Linking up our LA and Vancouver teams worked perfectly in terms of getting great results fast.”
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