Charles Tait joined Weta Digital in 2000 as a Senior Compositor on The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. In 2004, he was promoted to Compositing Supervisor and spent a year designing the look of King Kong’s rampage through New York in King Kong. Now, he has over 50 credits to his name, including Avatar, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, The Adventures of Tintin (during which he became Head of Compositing), and Prometheus. Charles transitioned into a Visual Effects Supervisor role on The Hobbit trilogy and worked on Deadpool, Avengers: Infinity War, Alita: Battle Angel, Game of Thrones, and, most recently, Marvel’s The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.
I recently had the chance to speak to Charlie about Weta Digital’s work on the Disney+ series and how they brought Sam Wilson’s high-flying action scenes to life.
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Over the past 25 years, Weta Digital has created visual effects for some of the biggest pieces of pop culture the world has ever seen, ranging from The Lord of the Rings franchise to Game of Thrones and Avengers: Endgame. Now the company is doing something it’s never done before: producing original content under a new animation division.
A press release says filmmakers Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh (The Lord of the Rings trilogy) are both going to “play a key role in the development of Weta Animation,” and the two of them will also “write, produce and direct several animated projects for the company.”
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The final confrontation in Avengers: Endgame is one of the most epic scenes in comic book movie history. It’s as if a comic splash page came to life, grabbed a basketball, and windmill dunked on the airport fight in Captain America: Civil War. The Endgame battle is a fight between good and evil on a truly tremendous scale, full of the type of jaw-dropping, “holy shit” moments that make you wonder how any other film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe will ever be able to top it.
We’ll have to wait and see if that ever happens, but in the meantime, I spoke with Weta Digital’s visual effects supervisor Matt Aitken about how Endgame‘s final battle came together. Weta created the VFX for that sequence, and Aitken told me about how much the battle changed over time, which actors were present for its key moments, that applause-inducing moment when Captain America grabs Thor’s hammer, the nanotechnology in Iron Man’s suit, and much more. Read More »
Update: This piece has been updated in an attempt to clarify the work done by Digital Domain and Weta Digital. You can find out more below, and our original article follows.
13 visual effects vendors collaborated to make 18 digital characters for Avengers: Infinity War, and Josh Brolin‘s villainous Thanos is the most important of them all. The entire movie hinges on that performance, and if you don’t buy him as a living, breathing character, Marvel would have had their own Steppenwolf problem to deal with. Thankfully, Thanos ended up being one of the best CGI villains in cinema history – thanks in large part to the hard-working team at VFX company Digital Domain.
To promote the superhero sequel’s home video release, /Film was invited to take a tour of the company’s L.A. facility and learn the steps they took to bring the Mad Titan to life. I brought a couple of cameras along and put together an in-depth video about how the Thanos visual effects were created and incorporated into the movie.
This goes far beyond those videos that simply show a scene with one VFX layer at a time added into the final version. This is detailed stuff, and I hope you check it out below. Read More »
War for the Planet of the Apes has already received rave reviews for its deep emotional impact, its astonishing motion-capture technology, and its profound meditation on the meaning of humanity. But enough cannot be said about the technology that lies at the crux of the film, marrying the skills of the actors behind the apes with the digital studio that captures those emotions for the big screen.
The War for the Planet of the Apes marketing team released another featurette showcasing the cutting-edge technology by Weta Digital, and it only feels more stunning the longer you watch it.
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