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"Guardians of the Galaxy" VFX Breakdown
Posted on Nov 25, 2014 at 11:03 pm IST
Method studios delivered over 170 shots  & Framstore has delivered  633 shots for the movie.
Gaining critical acclaim from comic book fans and film critics alike, Marvel seem to have struck gold with their latest sci-fi superhero action caper, Guardians of the Galaxy. Set 1,000 years in the future, the story sets a band of intergalactic misfits against villains aiming to rule the cosmos. Directed by James Gunn, the film stars an eclectic group of characters and celestial landscapes, all requiring a vast amount of visual effects to bring them to life.

The Method team was supervised by Greg Steele in LA and Stéphane Nazé in London, and over the course of five months, 140 artists produced over 170 shots. A wide range of VFX were required including digital environments, holographic effects and FX simulations.


For the final battle, Method Studios created content for the holographic table at Nova Corp comand center. The holo table was used to provide an overview on the battle raging above the city and other info graphics. Greg notes “The director wanted it to have a more tangible look than what you normally see in holograms, to suggest a very advanced technology. So we rendered more photorealistic information for the top of the table and interspersed that with polymetric graphics and light effects.”

The other holographic display was utilized in the Collector’s lab sequence, where the Collector character explains the origins and devastating power of the Power Stone to the film’s protagonists.  For the oval shaped "vid shields" that surround the characters, Method created content for the displays such as the big bang, infinity stones and destruction sequence. The Black Fire used by Celestrial to destroy the planet underwent much R&D. The resulting simulation includes smoke with purple burning embers involving 2D elements composited with particles and a fluids for the final prismatic glow.


Method created several digital environments utilizing full CG elements and dimensional matte painting techniques.  They consisted of sequences within the interior of Ronan's spaceship, a surreal cosmic landscape for a flashback sequence between Gamora and Star-Lord, several shots in the floating city of Nowhere, and exterior skies and cityscape seen from the Nova Corp command center, complete with spaceships.


The shots illustrating the origins of the Power Stone within the orb, involve mechanical arms opening the sphere’s complex mechanisms.  Method artists replaced the practical arms shot on set which allowed their movement to be much faster and more intricate. They also intensified the light source and created interactive casts of vivid purple light on CG geometry to illuminate the surrounding environment and people.

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Framestore recently delivered more than 40 minutes and 633 final shots for the movie. They also created the cavernous expanse of Knowhere - a giant mined out skull that’s home to a whole city - the most complicated environment they’ve ever built.
VFX by Framestore