Why The ‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’ Illusion Battle Took Nine Months To Make | Movies Insider

Why The ‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’ Illusion Battle Took Nine Months To Make | Movies Insider

This battle scene in
“Spider-Man: Far From Home” wouldn’t have been possible
without “Harry Potter,” “The Matrix,” or even “James Bond.” The midway fight sequence
called the “illusion battle” was partly inspired by these movies. Although the movie’s visual
effects were completed by a combination of companies, Framestore was responsible
for this thrilling section. Visual effects supervisor Alexis Wajsbrot, who previously worked on “Thor: Ragnarok” and “Doctor Strange,” explains
to us how it was done. And, spoiler alert, we’re going to be revealing details about the film. In this sequence, Spider-Man visits what he believes to be the
Berlin office of Europol, but instead is a trap set by Mysterio. The villain uses holographic techniques and projector drones to create a sequence of horrifying illusions. Spider-Man: I know this isn’t real. Mysterio: Do you, though? Alexis Wajsbrot: Usually, the process is, there is a script, and then
there is a production period where they shoot what the script is. And then we are adding visual effects on top in post-production. But on the case of this one, the sequence was not
locked at script stage. We were at concepting at the same time as we were animating shots. Narrator: To make a sequence like this, the shots must go
through different stages, with 120 employees all working in unison, modeling, texturing, shading, rigging, animating, rendering,
and lighting the shot. The movie’s star, Tom Holland, has his movements recorded
in a motion-capture suit, which is then passed to the animators. To begin, the Framestore art department worked on creative references
with director Jon Watts and VFX supervisor Janek Sirrs. Visual references included the comic books as well as Surrealist paintings. Wajsbrot: References on YouTube
of cool videos that we find. There were one where a
drone was emitting lights. We watched “The Matrix”
for having a lot of Agent Smith’s, for our sequence where
there is a lot of spider-men jumping onto the main Spidey. Of course, we looked at the “James Bond” title sequence for “Spectre.” We used that reference for a sequence in the graveyard with zombie Iron Man. With Marvel, we are
doing a lot more in CG, a lot more completely computer-generated, whereas in “James Bond” they shot a lot more elements, and it’s more 2D. Narrator: The team also used a scene from “Harry Potter and
the Order of the Phoenix” as a reference, when
orbs fall on the gang. Wajsbrot: We wanted the
globes to be actually Mysterio globe, Mysterio helmet, to fall, which didn’t end up in the movie. We even looked at “Indiana Jones,” having a giant globe of Mysterio
head chasing Spider-Man. “The Evil Dead” for the mirror sequence. Ash: I don’t think so. Narrator: Once the references were locked, the team moved to
storyboard, then concept art. In total, 150 pieces of
concept art were produced. These were turned into animations. The transitions from one scene to another were particularly difficult. They used an FX-driven transition
dubbed the BARF effect, or binarily augmented retro-framing, which is based on the
transition used by Iron Man in a scene from “Captain
America: Civil War.” Wajsbrot: What we call
references a blue twinkly effect, which is a lot of blue pixels. What is it that we can make it better? So we transformed this
2D pixel into 3D voxels and make the effect a bit more 3D. When you transition from one
environment to the other, you need the two environments
to have some similarities. So, for example, at the
beginning we are transitioning from Europol to actually
a construction site. That’s where we completely transformed the construction site in full CG, we completely rebuild it to
make sense of the geography. So there is always a link. When you are somewhere in Europol, you are somewhere in
the construction site. Narrator: The transitions
were also inspired by “The Truman Show,” namely the idea of walking into a landscape
that turns out to be a different texture, such
as a wall or a floor. FX such as Mysterio’s blast or the smoke inside his helmet were created by other
vendors, such as Scanline. Framestore created the FX of green smoke and applied it to different environments. The texture of the smoke can be dry ice, wispy, or thick like a floor. Weather systems were a
difficult effect to achieve. For this, the team had to work on the texture of different effects. Wajsbrot: So, one that
is actually more complex is the snow interaction on Spider-Man and the building piercing through. It’s really tricky to have realistic snow; it always looks a bit
like jelly or too powdery. Narrator: The sequence involved three main Spider-Man suits: The homemade suit, as seen
in “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” the stealth suit, and the homecoming suit. The scene is lit with
strong directional light, which was a challenge for the texture. Too thin, and the suit starts to show too much muscle definition. Too baggy, and the suit looks
ill-fitting and wrinkly. At one stage, we see
Spidey in a “shard room,” where he looks at multiple
versions of himself all moving independently. For this, the team had to create 20 individual animated Spider-Man suits. They also had to design the character suit for zombie Iron Man. Wajsbrot: We had some
very, very gory version where we still see some bits of skin, and muscle, and flesh, which was a bit too far for Marvel. We went full skeleton,
and that was not enough. For us, it’s a big challenge to model all of these broken pieces of
metal as well as the skull, and then making sure that
we shade them correctly. We also used “Avengers: Age of Ultron” as a reference, because there is lots of broken robots with hanging cables and hanging pieces at the
beginning of the sequence. We used that as well as a reference to see how we can make a zombie Iron Man with all of these
hanging pieces of metals. Narrator: The team had worked on similarly trippy sequences in “Doctor Strange” and
“Avengers: Endgame.” Wajsbrot: The previous
Marvel movies actually what we cannot do. So, we looked at “Doctor Strange,” OK, we cannot do all of that. Spider-Man gets sliced into
lots of different pieces in space, but because they’d
done that in “Endgame” already, we couldn’t do that. Narrator: The sequence
took nine months to make, from first reference to finished product. Which was no mean feat, given
its scale and complexity.

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  1. I find it dumb in the beginning of the movie the elemental punched Peter and he felt it. Then at the end he was able to go through the final elemental. In the beginning why didn't the punch go through Peter?

  2. The people that made this scene are honestly so underrated. People only know about the actors when they watch the movie, when the producers, writers, editors, and the other filming crew deserve recognition too.

  3. I especially love seeing the behind the scenes work of CGI artists – The praise for their exemplary work cannot be overstated, it's awe-inspiring, brings wonderful things to life, and will be cherished forever.

  4. The narrator sounds weird to it would have been better of they spoke faster or didn't stop so much between words

  5. Yoooooo!!!!!!! I got a group presentation on VFX teams and their work. This is going to be a big help for me!

  6. 3:52 Why is nobody talking about the fact that to make this scene they ACTUALLY used the fricking B.A.R.F. effect/program ?!?!? And like it's really called that way ?!?! Was this whole movie just one massive inside joke within the vfx-team ?!? 😂😂

  7. Amazing sequence! Top notch.

    Sorry, not alone here, but sweet mercy don't narrate…so slow…with…so many…long…pauses.

  8. For all the shots in Far From Home which I could tell where absolutely fake, and that was okay since it's illusion tech, there's double that amount of shots which assumed were absolutely practical but for some reason are completely CGI. I'm okay with all of this.

    Mysterio: Am I a joke to you?

    All those illusion scenes were the reason why Spidey never fucked with Mysterio, like he does with Green Goblin and Doc Oct. Those scenes were done so beautifully and choreographed so perfectly you think Michael Jackson directed them. Like how would that be topped in the next Dr. Strange film? In fact, I want to see Dr. Strange and Mysterio do a an illusion-reality warping dance off. <3 OMG! Two handsome bearded men in the same room. Too much! ^_^

  10. When this scene was playing all the kids were screaming. I guess that’s what they mean when they say some scenes might be too intense for kids

  11. I must be completely honest, the narrator's stwange, bwaby-like, nasal voice bothered me so much I couldn't get more than two minutes in…

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