'The Avengers': How ILM assembled the visual effects

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Screen shot 2013-01-07 at 9.14.56 AM1:53 — The massive photography project gave ILM “a pretty good base to start with as far as stone and concrete and those flat surfaces,” White says. But it’s not quite enough.

“The challenge is with a moving camera you have to put in all the visual cues that are lost. That means every window has to be replaced with a CG window, that would give us the reflections of the environment, the reflections of the sun, and it would add a random window blind at a random height. And the room interiors also had to be visually created.”

They did that by plugging in images of their own workspace. “There are 20 offices at ILM for all of New York. If you looked around and zoomed right in through the windows, you could see right into our offices,” White says.

“Plus everything on the ground that needs to parallax – or change perspective – like cars, street lamps, and trees, has to be painted out of the photography and put back in as digital models,” he adds. “We built about 200 New York City set dressing props, like hot dog stands and mailboxes. Pretty much everything we could find in the original photography.”

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