'The Avengers': How ILM assembled the visual effects

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Screen shot 2013-01-07 at 9.18.33 AM3:04 – “We called this the tie-in shot,” White says. “It was supposed to be the first time in the film where Joss wanted to see them all working together. It was probably the first shot we started on and the last one we finished because it took so much coordination and planning.”

It begins with Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow, riding on the back of an actor in a black and white motion-capture suit, which becomes a sky-bike-riding Chitauri warrior. From there, we follow Iron Man as he flies by firing his repulsor beams, on his way to help Captain America in the middle of a melee down on the street.

“We shot a plate of Captain America fighting aliens, but it slowed the camera down so much that we needed to replace that part with a digital Captain America,” White says.

So the only flesh-and-blood characters to appear are Johansson as Black Widow, Jeremy Renner atop a building, sniping aliens with his bow and arrow, and Thor – riding one of the leviathan with Hulk.

Next Page: “Puny god …”


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