While Eternals is one of Marvel’s most cosmically-oriented features to date, director Choé Zhao crafted the film with a distinct focus on emphasizing the Earth’s natural beauty that first made the Eternals themselves fall in love with the planet. Finding a balance between the brand’s big-screen spectacles and moments that feel “human” was one of the bigger challenges Zhao and the rest of Eternals’ creative team faced, and in a new featurette, VFX supervisor Stephane Ceretti opens up about how they did that.
In the new video, Ceretti breaks down some of Eternals’ flashier scenes—when Sersi, Sprite, and Ikaris all clash with the Deviant Kro one evening in Camden—and explains just how much digital artistry went into making the characters’ powers and presences feel real. Believability in this scene, Ceretti described, was the biggest hurdle because of how technically complicated Sprite’s illusion powers and Sersi’s ability to transmute inorganic matter are, from a VFX perspective. “So, the premise was really mostly about trying to find the right dynamic—the right animation for the bus, and for Ikaris and Kro hitting it,” Ceretti recalled. “So that was pretty important for us to know, you know, all the distance and speed for the bus, and where everybody had to be at that moment to make sure that everything was in its place.”
Exciting as the Eternals’ hand-to-hand fight with Kro was to nail, it was the way Sersi ends up saving a bus driver from death by transmuting his bus into a mass of rose petals that ended up pleasing Ceretti the most. Though a real bus was used to create the shot, Ceretti and his team were able to work with a digital model after the real thing was scanned, giving them the flexibility to throw it around before turning it into something completely new. “We tend to do a lot of destruction in our films, and this wasn’t a moment like that,” Ceretti said. “It was a moment of danger that transforms into a moment of beauty, and it’s kind of magical and whimsical. It kind of makes the movie a little bit unique in that sense.”
Eternals is now in theaters.
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