How Thor: Love And Thunder Avoided The Need To Create A Bunch Of CG Superpowered Kids

Spoilers for "Thor: Love and Thunder" ahead.

In "Thor: Love and Thunder," the children of New Asgard are kidnapped by Gorr the God Butcher (Christian Bale). When Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and company come to rescue them, he grants them all powers from Zeus' (Russell Crowe) lightning bolt to help fight back. It's a lovely scene, reinforcing the idea that anyone can be a hero. 

The crew came up with an interesting technique to film that scene, according to an interview for Marvel Entertainment's YouTube channel with Jake Morrison, the film's visual effects supervisor. It involved lighting the scene in such a way that they didn't have to recreate the children as CGI characters, and could use the actors for real. Considering the backlash on social media about too much CGI in film, and the recent complaints from the VFX teams who work with Marvel about how much time they're given for their work, this technique will likely be used again. 

Morrison gives a pretty technical answer to the question about creating new technologies and techniques for Thor: Love and Thunder, but we can break it down for you. 

'It's never quite like the real kid'

Morrison explained that when you see CGI versions of children, "it's never quite like the real kid." He went on to elaborate that they developed a system where they shot the scene and lit the young actors from four different angles at the same time. This system allowed the effects team to "take that apart, and then you can use any given light." 

In the video, you can see this in practice, with shots of the same child lit in different ways. Obviously, the things attacking the kids weren't real, and sometimes when you do a scene like this, the choreography changes. If you're drawing the kids in with CGI, you can change the lighting in the computer. However, if you have them lit from all angles, and you can actually choose which version to use, you can move monsters around.

Morrison explained that when "the kid goes and smashes a monster here — and it splats and you get lightning in the face, the light that's on the kid's face is really what it would have looked like if that happened. But we were able to choose later on." As much as audiences appreciate the fact that technicians can create anything with effects, they've become savvy enough to realize when VFX are overused. Being able to use real children, who can emote in such real and emphatic ways, does lend something more polished to the final cut. 

It was director Taika Waititi, according to Morrison, who wanted them to find new technologies and "push stuff forward — and we're proud of that."

"Thor: Love and Thunder" is currently in theaters.