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X-Men: First Class

PRODUCTION COMPANY: Twentieth Century Fox

Director: Matthew Vaughn


In the fifth installment of 20th Century Fox’s X-Men franchise, Digital Domain’s artists focused on Kevin Bacon’s Shaw character. Visual Effects Supervisor Jay Barton and his team worked closely with the filmmakers to establish how Shaw’s energy-absorbing/releasing superpowers would manifest, then created the ‘kinetic echo’ effect involving muscle ripples, extra arms and effects to the surrounding environment. They also created a digital version of Shaw that was indistinguishable from the live-action Bacon, even in extreme closeup, using Digital Domain’s Academy Award winning digital human synthesis techniques. The work also included the creation of complex digital environments that artists then destroyed using extensive CG fire, explosions and debris. In the case of the ‘Mirror Room,’ the task was made more challenging as the shots included projecting and reflecting digital doubles of the Magneto and Shaw battling through the sequence.