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X-Men : First Class

Director: Matthew Vaughn

Visual Effects Supervisor: Jay Barton

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. The team then created the ‘kinetic echo’ effect, which involved muscle ripples, extra arms and other effects added 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 sophisticated digital environments that artists then destroyed using extensive CG fire, explosions and debris. For the ‘Mirror Room,’ the task was made more challenging as the shots included projecting and reflecting digital doubles of Magneto and Shaw battling through the sequence.