The special effects behind the log of the doomed planet Lamentis

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When Marvel contacted the special effects studio Digital Domain to work Log, there was one exciting episode in particular: the opportunity to destroy the entire planet.

The third episode of the series is set on the moon of a planet called Lamentis, which is collapsing on its own when it takes the moon with it. As Loki and Sylvie wander the deserted, purple landscape, meteors strike the ground around them. This all leads to a crescendo as they reach a small town that has come across debris as the planet rips.

Even before he had any idea of ​​another show or how the story would be repeated, VFX supervisor Jean-Luc Dinsdale knew this would be an important moment. Log. “It was pretty clear from the start that this was a huge series and a big milestone for the series,” he says Limit. “Technically, it’s a really challenging order.”

Before this point most Log was placed inside Time Variance Authority retrofuturist corridors, which made the transition to Lamentis even more invigorating. When Loki and Sylvie step into the moon for the first time, viewers are greeted by a gloomy, dirty landscape that doesn’t seem to be anything else on the show – though it wasn’t always a plan. Dinsdale says teams from Marvel Studios and Digital Domain cut a few ideas about the planet and its moon, including a lush world covered in a lush world and another dominated by massive oceans. At one point, they considered a planet with a molten core that would create quite a spectacle when it finally sat.

“We studied it for a little while, but after a while it was decided to make it more of a dead planet, a planet that had been dug to a mad extent and basically dead through all the exploitation,” Dinsdale explains. “So we literally ended up with the dead shell of this planet, which, as the last pictures show, has mining holes everywhere and it’s really destroyed to the point that there’s nothing left of it. What I think explains why it collapsed; the planet’s core was dug, not structural integrity no, so it breaks down. “

Photo: Marvel Studios

Photo: Marvel Studios

Photo: Marvel Studios

This decision is related to the way Dinsdale wants to approach VFX, which is to set them up in reality. Sure, none of us have ever seen a planet explode and take an inhabited moon with it, but the idea is that based on real physics, this strange visual form may be more plausible. In addition to looking at a lot of reference material, the team used software called Houdini to simulate the events of an explosion up to the amount of dust and debris that appears. “In my experience, the best way to approach visual effects is to base it on reality,” Dinsdale says. “What’s the reason for this planet exploding? We’re always walking this great line about what makes sense and what looks really cool.”

This is also related to some of the ongoing world buildings of the episode. Lamentis ’purple moon isn’t a very happy place, and viewers learn this largely visually. The miners left on the planet wear shabby clothes, and few buildings look faded and beaten. The digital domain team was able to expand this not only through the landscape, which is mostly rugged, but also through the devices visible in the background.

“Production [team] really wanted to give the feeling that they had been missing for a while, ”Dinsdale says. “The mining equipment on this planet has deteriorated, they have been used for a very long time, and it’s nothing like high technology. Strangers, a design aesthetic where there is nothing great about this planet, so it is dirty and worn and dusty. “Much of this was related to a labor-intensive process that added a lot of extra detail to everything, whether they were cavities in the spacecraft or dirty layers on some mining equipment.” You may not see all of these individual details, but only this formation of details creates the feeling that this thing looks real. . “

Effect Studio worked on the show for about a year and a half and eventually participated in over 300 VFX shots. One of the challenges was that while the episode lasted only 43 minutes, the episode revolves around many different and varied sounds. In the beginning, it’s like a division sequence as Loki and Sylvie run to escape hundreds of meteors to surface. Later, things are much quieter as the couple engages in quiet, heartfelt conversations as the world crumbles around them. This all culminates in that great final series when the city is destroyed. And all these moments require something different in terms of special effects.

Photo: Marvel Studios

Photo: Marvel Studios

Photo: Marvel Studios

“We need meteors to be scary, we need a lot of speed and huge effects with them, debris is flying everywhere to create that sense of danger,” Dinsdale says of that early series. “But later in the show, as they walked towards the mining town, the filmmakers wanted the meteor threat to still be there, so you always see them in the background. But created a different look to give the sense that yes, meteors are always present, there is always some danger, but it’s not a big moment in Michael Bay where they are crushed. “

These sections also proved challenging on the VFX side because of their portrayal. During the action sessions, real rubbish was thrown around the set to give the actors something to answer. It made life more real, but as Dinsdale explains, “it makes the job a lot harder for us because we have to go in and remove the items dropped on the set, replace the backgrounds and then layer it back in the trash to bring that sense of danger back. the results are much more satisfactory. You have a pretty amazing look. “He adds that” a lot of cleaning had to be done on the footage. “

The amount of work was similar to that of a long-running film, and the result is undoubtedly the most visually striking Logsix episodes. From its harsh color scheme to desert atmosphere, Lamentis really doesn’t look like anything else in the series – which makes it so memorable. “We basically have to create our own little world separate from the rest of the show,” Dinsdale says.

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