MPC Sprouts Groot from Guardians of the Galaxy

MPC delivered 857 VFX shots for Marvel/Disney’s Guardians of the Galaxy, including the lovable Groot. Guardians┬árocketed with an estimated $37.8 million on Friday night.

Led by VFX supervisor Nicolas Aithadi and animation supervisor Greg Fisher, the highlight of MPC’s work was Vin Diesel’s tree-shaped humanoid, which was fully CG.┬áThe team spent more than six months developing the character, which required some extremely complex modeling, rigging and animation. For example, all of his branches were modeled and rigged individually to allow his body to keep it’s rigid, wooden feel. The only words Groot knows are “I am Groot,” and therefore a lot of attention was given to humanizing his facial expressions and eyes.

MPC’s work also consisted of some very complex environment work creating the alien worlds of Morag and Xandar. The team had to build an entire city, Xandar, capital of the Nova Empire where the future Guardians are first brought together, to accommodate all the sequences that take place there. MPC was given freedom on the final look of the city — and the artists looked at real-world architecture in places such as Shanghai and Dubai as reference for the buildings, which had to be be built at different altitudes from 30,000 feet high to ground level and vary in age from from brand new to more than 300-years-old. The city was then populated with trees, gardens, rocks, beaches, marinas, yachts, and other features, all specifically designed to fit in with the alien environment.

The climax is the full-CG, 400-shot aerial battle sequence, which showcases outstanding animation, crowd, environment, FX, lighting, and comp work from the team. There were hundreds of CG explosions and thousands of CG ships. MPC’s other work included a number of sequences with the CG character Rocket Raccoon (voiced by Bradley Cooper) in which the animation team took the lead and the creation of the Necrocraft and Dark Aster ships.

Other sequence include the introduction to Chris Pratt’s Peter Quill-Star-Lord, in which he discovers the orb and is chased across the rocky planet surface, and the sequence involving Peter, Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Rocket, and Groot fighting over the orb.

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in 3-D, Animation, Below the Line, Clips, Movies, performance capture, previs, Tech, VFX, Virtual Production

Add a Comment