Fearing the actions of a god-like super hero left unchecked, Gotham City’s own formidable, forceful vigilante takes on Metropolis’s most revered, modern-day savior, while the world wrestles with what sort of hero it really needs. And with Batman and Superman at war with one another, a new threat quickly arises, putting mankind in greater danger than it’s ever known before.
Vancouver, March 2016, MPC VFX Supervisor Guillaume Rocheron led the team, working closely with director Zack Snyder and Production VFX Supervisor John DJ DesJardin creating VFX for some of the most epic sequences in the movie.
MPC’s main areas of work were the iconic fight between Batman and Superman and the spectacular Final Battle between Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman and Doomsday. A range of creative skills and new technology were used to build city environments, digital characters and epic scenes of destruction.
Batman V Superman is a superhero movie grounded in reality and Snyder wanted to push how we blended seamlessly practical stunts, sets and filmed locations with the visual effects. The movie being shot in IMAX and 35mm film, offered MPC an exciting opportunity to create iconic DC imagery on a large screen format and push the detail of their work further than ever before.
MPC created highly detailed digital versions of the main characters, all of which had to hold up perfectly at IMAX resolution. The fight scenes switch from real to digital actors, sometimes transitioning back and forth multiple times within the same shot. Using numerous 3d scans and photographic input, MPC’s assets and rigging team developed new tools and techniques allowing them to maximize the use of the data in order to reproduce the actor’s faces to a very high level of fidelity under any pose and lighting condition.
One of MPC’s largest tasks was to create a digital Gotham City. Creating this vast and complex environment required months of planning and detailed mapping. The beauty and challenge of urban development is that every city is the product of decades of development and progress. To ensure the city felt realistically developed through time, the team decided to recreate and combine large sections of existing selected city sections and adapt the architecture and layout to fit Gotham’s. Thousands of photographs were put through MPC’s photogrammetry pipeline to create geometry and textures for each city section. This technique ensured that each building and street was completely unique which was made possible to render by MPC’s latest renderer update.
For the Batman V Superman fight, MPC used their Envirocam technique to match the location lighting, creating complete pre-lit 2.5D environments. IMAX resolution required improvements on the precision of the photo calibration and the geometric details the team re-created to support the projections.
The final battle environment was a tremendous layout and rendering challenge, due to the combination of terraformed ground sections, destroyed street props along with the rest of Gotham City, volumetric 3D fires and smoke fluid caches. The rendering team developed techniques to handle hundreds of volumetric fire light sources that had to coherently light the characters and environment in order to render photo-realistically the large-scale final act of the film.
To create Doomsday, MPC’s art department created high resolution concept drawings and 3d models based of a clay maquette provided by the production team. Doomsday’s exposed muscles, tendons and bones required the CG model to be built in detail from the inside out. Body and facial performance capture were combined with keyframe animation to bring the character to life.