2006 Movie News Archives

Superman flying

August 28, 2006: Mark Stetson Talks About Working on “Superman Returns”

CG Channel has published an interview with Mark Stetson, the Visual Effects Supervisor for "Superman Returns", where he discusses working on the movie, including how, when and why certain visual effects were used. Here's an excerpt from the interview...

    Q: Superman Returns relied on cutting-edge technology such as digital actors for some stunt sequences. Could you tell us how you decide to use the real thing vs. digital?

    Mark: Those decisions were group decisions, and were generally guided by the best-perceived way to get the performance desired recorded onto our imaging media. In the case of Brandon Routh's portrayal of Superman, the ideal was to let Brandon create the performance in every case. When that was physically impossible, we would use stunts and visual effects to assist him. If we could get Brandon himself to most effectively create the action we need, we would always use that approach - whether that meant he was in the set or in front of a green screen. If it was something Brandon could not do, we would move toward stunt doubles or digital solutions. Where we could, we would still get a reference performance from Brandon to guide our animation.

    Q: How did you create the digital Superman double?

    Mark: Rich Hoover and his team at Sony Pictures Imageworks would answer that question better. Our approach was to make the best use of the limited time we had by scanning Brandon twice. The first scans were completed as soon as possible after Brandon was cast. These allowed Imageworks to develop the model and the animation setup, but were expected to be inevitably unusable as a final model because the costume was not complete, and Brandon had not yet begun his physical training for the role. Nevertheless, the development model allowed Imageworks to complete the proof of concept tests that we needed to inform our decisions about how to shoot each of the Superman elements. Shortly after shooting began in March 2005, we scanned Brandon again. It was most interesting to all of us, including Brandon, to see the before-and-after body comparisons. Brandon had changed his shape a lot! The high-resolution Superman work developed from the IBR (Image Based Render) approach that Imageworks developed for Spiderman 2. The set-up was so comprehensive that our digital Superman could have spoken a line in close-up, although we ultimately didn't use that capability.

Read the complete 4 page interview at the CG Channel website.

2006 Movie News

Listed below are all the Movie News items archived for 2006 organized into various categories:

“Superman Returns” Movie News:

Christopher Reeve Movie News: Hollywoodland (George Reeves) Movie News: Direct-to-DVD Animated Movie News: Other Movie News:

Back to the News Archive Contents page.

Back to the Latest News page.