Secret bases hidden deep within remote snow covered mountains. A battle featuring an Inhuman using tremors and energy vibrations to fight her attackers. A body being destroyed by Terrigen Crystals. A fluid sphere of Gravitonium, morphing and floating. These are just a few examples of the various way Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. employs visual effects in its storytelling week after week.
The show tackles superpowers, Inhumans, and government experiments at a breakneck pace, and it consequently has numerous larger-than-life concepts and characters that require a fine balance of solid acting and outstanding CGI in order to succeed. Fortunately, the special effects on the show are a priority, and we can now see exactly how much work is involved with creating these action sequences.
FuseFX, the main visual effects company for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has just released an effects breakdown, which demonstrates the painstaking process required to bring each scene to life. The clip, seen above, highlights key interactions, fights, and characters as FuseFX add in their visual effects to simulate reality.
It's impressive work that is beginning to be recognized within the industry. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has now been nominated for numerous visual effects awards, including a 2014 Primetime Emmy nomination for Outstanding Special Visual Effects. The Burbank-based studio has also worked on a wide range of projects in both television and film including Zombieland, Sleepy Hollow, and Deadwood.
While movies have historically received most of the attention for their outstanding work in visual effects, television is quickly catching up. Over on The CW both Arrow and The Flash are producing excellent special effects that are required of any comic book adaptation - most memorably bringing an enormous, telepathic gorilla to life without seeming too cartoon-like or cheesy. As the number of superhero and comic book adaptations on television continue to grow, so too does the caliber of their visual effects.
While, of course, the effects on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. pale comparison to their blockbuster predecessor The Avengers, both time and budget must be taken into account. FuseFX is doing incredible work at a very fast pace, and it will be interesting to see them tackle the visual needs of the series, as more Inhuman powers are added and the Secret Warriors are assembled in Season 3.
Season 3 of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. premieres Tuesday, September 29 at 9:00 PM ET on ABC. Agent Carter will air season 2 in early 2016. Daredevil is currently available on Netflix. Jessica Jones premieres in Fall 2015, followed by Luke Cage and Daredevil season 2 in 2016.