The Flash unleashed a lot of fan service in its first season. Whether it was a telepathic gorilla or something more “realistic” like a robber with a cold gun, the show embraced the Flash’s rich comic book mythos and unleashed many of its characters in a satisfying way. Obviously, the script plays a critical role in making sure these heroes and villains are put to proper use, but when a show is incorporating so many special powers and abilities, the visual effects often play an equally important role. After all, how can a viewer suspend disbelief if something looks blatantly fake?
Thankfully, the visual effects team behind The Flash offered a variety of CGI that, for the most part, felt like an organic addition to the scenes as opposed to feeling like something that clearly stands out. Season 2 of The CW’s The Flash will debut in October, and the show is already promising some (literally) big things. More super-powered characters like Atom Smasher (Adam Copeland) and Jay Garrick (Teddy Sears) have been confirmed, and the new episodes will even introduce the multiverse.
So far, each episode of The Flash has called for a noticeable amount of visual effects, and it’s perfectly clear that good CGI is going to be mandatory for season 2. Now a behind-the-scenes video has been released, and it reveals a little more about all of the work that goes into making sure The Flash has convincing visual effects.
Posted by The CW, the 2:25 video explains that a “digital double” of Grant Gustin – who plays Barry Allen/Flash – was made early on by scanning the actor. This CGI duplicate was, of course, used for a noteworthy amount of moments throughout the show’s first season; the video highlights Flash’s slow motion fight with Reverse-Flash in Barry’s childhood home as an example of this. Having a believable CGI version of Flash was essential to making the show feel more like “a live comic book“, which is what executive producer Gabrielle Stanton states they were aiming to accomplish. Based on responses from fans and critics, it seems like many viewers would agree the show has succeeded in making it feel like a “live comic book“.
The video also reveals a little more of the creation of Gorilla Grodd. Knowing how difficult the task at hand was, Armen Kevorkian – the show’s visual effects supervisor – says they began to research and work on Gorilla Grodd early on to generate a more convincing version of Flash’s classic foe. There’s also extra insight into how frequently the Central City is CGI, and Kevorkian points out that his car even makes a cameo in the season 1 finale. Towards the end of the video, there’s a bit of talk about Atom Smasher – a character who can alter his size – and a brief clip of Atom Smasher growing as he has a firm grip on Flash.
The Flash season 1 successfully included one of the most challenging Flash characters to use in live-action. If the show can make casual viewers take Gorilla Grodd seriously, there shouldn’t be much concern over the visual effects that are required in including someone with size-alteration and additional speedsters. Season 1 proved it can present super-speed on a consistent basis – and in exciting ways, too – while also juggling various other effects (like projectile weapons), so fans of the show should feel confident in all of the visual spectacle that season 2 is promising to offer.
The script, on the other hand, is a whole different story. Season 1 did solid job handling character development with the primary characters and offered world-building that was full of nods to the source material. However, delving into the multiverse runs the risk of making things unnecessarily convoluted and it can even allow inconsistencies to slip by. Still, The Flash’s debut season was quite good, so many of its followers are feeling understandably confident (and thrilled, of course) about the show’s return.
The Flash season 2 premieres on The CW on Tuesday, October 6 at 8pm/7 central; Arrow season 4 debuts Wednesday, October 7 at 8pm/7 central; Legends of Tomorrow begins in 2016.
Source: The CW