While David Ayer brought Suicide Squad to the big screen and Patty Jenkins is helming Wonder Woman, after Zack Snyder’s Justice League is released this fall, he will be responsible for three of the DCEU’s five cinematic releases.
Like the universe he helped create, Snyder is a divisive director and a magnet for criticism, but even his harshest critics who accuse him of being style over substance agree with his fans on one thing: he does have style. This was highlighted a few months ago when Scanline VFX released a VFX Shot Breakdown Reel showcasing the impressive visual effects of Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice.
Despite its critical reception, some were surprised that Batman V Superman didn’t get any recognition for technical achievements when Academy Award nominations were handed out. Even Suicide Squad got a nomination for Hair and Makeup, but Batman V Superman’s awards season nods have been limited almost entirely to the Razzies.
Now Snyder has released a new effects breakdown video through his Cruel Films Vimeo channel, featuring even more side-by-side comparison shots. There are several points of overlap with the previous Scanline VFX video, but several new sections highlight additional production complexities.
One of the biggest new additions is a description of the work that went into Doomsday’s birth. In order to make the scene feel realistic, several types of fluid had to be created, ranging in viscosity from goo to water. The multiple textures also created a need to resolve different overlapping transparencies. The VFX team’s solution to this was to develop an entirely new tool just to get the liquid transparencies right. While Doomsday’s birth isn’t exactly a scene that attracts attention due to its visual spectacle, that might be the point. If the various liquid textures and transparencies didn’t work, then Doomsday immediately stands out as fake.
Even scenes that appear to be practical effects in the film have an astonishing number of digital additions, oftentimes coming in the form of layering multiple practical effects shots on top of each other to create an entire scene. For a movie as effects heavy as Batman V Superman, it’s unquestionably impressive that the myriad effects shots come together so seamlessly.
The hope from DCEU fans and non-fans alike is that the style can be maintained in new movies while incorporating a tone and story that resonates with audiences more. With recent news about Justice League emphasizing the drama and fun that comes from the team’s complex relationships and the rebirth of hope that the team embodies, hopefully audiences will find more satisfaction in the substance moving forward.
Source: Zack Snyder