PRODUCTION COMPANY: Marvel Studios
Director: Taika Waititi
Led by VFX Supervisor Dave Hodgins, our team of over 150 artists in our Los Angeles in Vancouver studios produced 188 shots for the Marvel film, “Thor: Ragnarok.” Our main focus of work was on the Sakaar City Chase to the Magnetar wormhole. Additionally, we worked on the Thor-Loki elevator ride sequence and other city establishing shots used in other sequences.
The vast city of Sakaar was meant to be a galactic dumping ground. Our team got to work creating the city without much reference, creating buildings, roads, traffic, wastelands and other elements of the city. With Sakaar it was a huge challenge to work out what the city looked like at the same time as building out the assets and making sure we had a reliable render solution that our render farm wouldn’t choke on given the number of elements. We tried both procedural and traditional hand placed layouts and for the wastelands, we used fully procedural methods in Houdini. One of our layout artists hand placed several of the buildings for some of the wide angle shots to get just the right mix of building heights and road placements. This was all extremely important for the Sakaar City chase sequence. There had to be just enough city layout for ships to be flying at 500 mph and also enough detail and texture on the closest buildings to avoid seeing repeats.
While the spaceships were mostly complete when they were handed to us, our rigging lead Nick Niculescu created all new rigs for each ship and we also enhanced all the Commodore interior shots with extra chrome and marble to truly bring it to life.