Computer Graphics World

November / December 2017

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28 cgw n o v e m b e r . d e c e m b e r 2 0 1 7 he Marvel juggernaut contin- ues to smash the box-office competition as the studio releases yet another offering from its Marvel Cinematic Universe – Thor: Ragnarok. The Thor franchise's two prior successes – 2011's Thor and 2013's Thor: The Dark World – collectively earned over $1.1 billion worldwide. The newest film, Thor: Ragnarok, sur- prisingly directed by indie filmmaker Taika Waititi, follows the God of Thunder (Chris Hemsworth) as he escapes imprisonment on the other side of the universe. The adven- ture continues as he races to get back to Asgard to stop Ragnarok – the destruction of his home world and the end of Asgardian civilization – at the hands of an all-powerful and ruthless Hela, who also happens to be his sister. But with a pit stop along the way, where he is captured yet again, he is forced into a deadly gladiator-style contest against his former ally and fellow Avenger – the Incredible Hulk. Jake Morrison, who worked on VFX for Ant-Man, The Avengers, and the earlier Thor films, is visual effects supervisor on the film. Just weeks prior to the film's opening, as he was still putting the finishing touches on several scenes, Morrison spoke at length about the work on the feature. The third installment "is a very different picture," says Morrison. "For starters, we're going back to the comic source a lot more, sourcing a lot more of the Stan Lee/Jack Kirby stuff and really getting into some of that initial artwork. We had Taika, who's an amazing secret weapon as well. An artist in his own right. It was incredibly exciting to let him loose and see some of the stuff that he was putting together for these worlds." The fact that the whole thing is this inter- galactic road trip "gave us the ability to put a fresh coat of paint on everything, Asgard included," Morrison offers. "[We didn't] reinvent the wheel 100 percent, as there are landmarks that people will recognize from Asgard, but it'll look different." While Morrison's film credits also in- clude Mission: Impossible II, The Deep Blue Sea, and Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, the UK native ex- plains that he has unknowingly become a bit of a Thor authority. "I ended up working on all three Thor films, which was never a plan, but it just sort of happened. There was a moment when we were in prep on Thor 3 and we were in this board room, where these huge production meetings happen, and there's costume, special effects, stunt coordinators, and I suddenly realized that people kept looking at me with all these questions about how Thor worked, how his powers worked," he says. And I realized, 'Oh jeez, I have become an HAMMER TIME! Studios pound out amazing visual effects for Thor: Ragnarok T Images ©2017 Marvel By Linda Romanello

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