Fuel delivered 150 visual effects shots for THE AVENGERS, the blockbuster from Marvel Studios in which Nick Fury from the international agency S.H.I.E.L.D. assembles a team of super-heroes to defend the Earth against Loki, Thor’s brother, who wants to destroy it.
Led by VFX Supervisor Simon Maddison, Fuel looked after three sequences that occur in and around Tony Stark’s New York penthouse, perched atop Stark Tower. In a scene near the film’s opening, Tony and Pepper are celebrating the tower coming online when they are interrupted by Agent Coulson from S.H.I.E.L.D. Fuel designed and created the various holograms featured in this scene, which give an insight into some of the other members of the Avengers team, as well as the mysterious tesseract artefact.
The penthouse set required sweeping views of New York to be added behind Stark’s floor to ceiling glass windows, for both night and day looks in two different scenes, as well as extension to parts of the interior set.
Fuel’s work can also be seen in the Loki-Thor fight sequence that takes place on the floating balcony outside of Stark’s apartment during the battle to protect New York. For this important and complex sequence, Fuel created a CG exterior of Stark Tower that could both replace the small set piece where required and also join up to it where some of the live action elements needed to be preserved. With Stark Tower having a large glass facade and glass panels along the balcony, there were many complex reflection and lighting issues that needed to be solved.
The New York cityscape of course needed to be added here, along with FX animation from Loki’s sceptre, and background CG chariots of the attacking aliens. With so much action taking place in this sequence, and the Loki-Thor fight intercutting with the action of the other characters, continuity was crucial and Fuel worked closely with VFX Supervisor Janek Sirrs and the film’s other vendors to ensure that the look of Stark Tower and the New York background remained consistent.
‘The Avengers’ broke box office records in both the US and Australia. In the US, the film posted the biggest opening weekend of all time taking $200.3 million.