Computer Graphics World

Edition 1 2018

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e d i t i o n 1 , 2 0 1 8 | c g w 5 arvel's Black Panther powered into theaters with a record- setting box office and high fives from critics for the story, fully-realized characters, and overall, thought-provoking vision. Ryan Coogler of Creed and Fruitvale Station fame wrote and directed the Disney release, Marvel's first black superhero film. Black Panther stars Chadwick Boseman as T'Challa/Black Panther, a newly crowned King of Wakanda. Wakanda is a secret, technologi- cally advanced African nation that harbors and leverages the glowing blue element vibranium, brought to earth via a meteor crash. T'Challa gains superhuman strength by ingesting a glowing, blue, heart-shaped herb. Michael B. Jordan plays his nemesis, the aptly named vengeful villain Erik Killmonger, a US black-ops soldier intent on over- throwing T'Challa and gaining access to the coun- try's vibranium and its weapons. He's allied with Ulysses Klaue (Andy Serkis, last seen as Snoke in Star Wars and Caesar in Apes), a South African black-market gangster and arms dealer sporting a sonic disruptor arm cannon made from stolen vibranium-based Wakandan mining equipment. Lupita Nyong'o, last seen as Maz in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, is Nakia, T'Challa's former lover, a member of Wakanda's River Tribe, and an under- cover spy on missions throughout the world. Danai Gurira as Okoye leads the all-female Wakanda special forces who serve as T'Challa's bodyguards. Martin Freeman is Everett Ross, a CIA agent who works with T'Challa. Letitia Wright is T'Challa's bril- liant younger sister Shuri, the head of a research lab who, like Q in Bond films, designs new technology. Rachel Morrison, the first woman to receive an Oscar nomination for cinematography (Mud- bound), was the director of photography. Hannah Beachler, Art Directors Guild winner for "Beyoncé: Lemonade," was production designer. Geoffrey Baumann, a visual effects supervisor at Marvel Studios who previously led second unit teams on Doctor Strange, Avengers: Age of Ultron, and other films, was overall visual effects super- visor. As with most Marvel films, multiple studios created the effects. "We had 12 primary vendors – ILM, Method, Scanline, Trixter, Rise FX, Luma, Double Nega- tive, Storm, Ghost, Exceptional Minds (which we always try to use), Capital P, and our in-house stu- dio," Baumann says. "Plus, a few studios for other work – Technicolor for cleanup, Lola for digital makeup. We had Third Floor do previs early on and Digital Domain for previs and postvis." All told, the film has 2,500 visual effects shots, with 2,000 having significant effects. "We took on every shot to a degree," Baumann says. "The visual effects ranged from subtle, small effects to full-CG shots, but they aren't ground- breaking. We don't have a Benjamin Button face or full-CG characters. A lot of the work in this film was environment work, backgrounds, things not in your face that complemented Ryan's [Coogler's] storytelling. What we wanted to do was make sure we created a world still of this earth." Baumann continues: "So, we based the envi- ronments in Africa on actual locations. Those en- vironments were created primarily by ILM, except for the waterfall and the area around it. For shots around the waterfalls, we had a huge set in Atlanta and a massive water tank. Scanline did extensions POWER S H I F T MULTIPLE STUDIOS DRIVE THE VISUAL EFFECTS IN MARVEL'S LATEST SUPERHERO FILM, BLACK PANTHER BY BARBARA ROBERTSON M Images ©2018 Marvel Studios.

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