A behind-the-scenes video from the new superhero movie shows how the helicarriers were designed.
Prepare to step behind the scenes of Captain America: The Winter Soldier and delve in to the film's astounding visual effects, thanks to company Industrial Light & Magic and Wired magazine. ILM was tasked with updating the helicarriers in the superhero sequel. The helicarriers? You know, those gigantic airborne ocean liners with the neat propellers seen in The Avengers? Well, Winter Soldier has three of these babies, which took some serious effort to create.
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FXguide's Mike Seymour spoke to the visual effects company to find out what new details were added to the S.H.I.E.L.D. aircrafts, and how the effects team created a digital modeling environment for the epic helicarrier crash scene seen in the new Marvel blockbuster. As in most CGI-heavy movies, the special effects are best when you barely notice them, which involves hundreds of effects geniuses working tirelessly behind the scenes to make that explosion look as real as possible.
"It's easy to become blasé about some of these complex shots but to achieve shots at this level there's such an incredible attention to detail," explains Seymour, adding "The texture detail alone on the new ships is four times that of The Avengers. Industrial Light & Magic were tasked with updating and upgrading S.H.I.E.L.D.'s most impressive airborne assets."
Watch Behind-The-Scenes Visual Effect Clips From 'Captain America: The Winter Soldier':
He goes on to marvel upon the many quinjets which are seen using the carriers as a launch pad. "Every one of these jets is modelled and textured so carefully and yet they're just a tiny part of a shot like this," he said whilst we see the tiny planes roll off a crashing helicarrier. Describing the jets as "eye fodder," ILM's Hard Surface Supervisor Bruce Holcomb said "nobody even cares [...] as the helicarrier is crashing all these things are falling off the side and we were just laughing that they became a non-issue."
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The video continues to demonstrate the awe-inspiring level of detail needed to make such a dramatic scene look realistic. Windows, smoke, bricks tumbling; all these minor details must be taken into consideration when modelling 3D effects.
Of course, the movie's cast, which includes Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Samuel L. Jackson, Robert Redford and Cobie Smulders, will receive all of the attention in the press but next time you watch a superhero movie, don't forget about the sheer level of technological skill it took to make the film truly super.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier is out now in cinemas.