With the MCU ‘Infinity Saga' now complete, the studio shares a 10-year visual history of their extensive previs, postvis and techvis work on the famed franchise.
It’s actually quite astounding that The Third Floor, one of the entertainment industry’s leading visualization companies, has worked on 18 films in Marvel Studios’ 22-movie MCU Infinity Saga. Dating back to 2010’s Iron Man 2, The Third Floor has helped shape narratives, design sizzling action sequences, setup camera moves and flesh out 3rd act story beats on 18 of the most popular and successful movies of the past decade… and that’s just on the previs side of the house. Take into account their postvis and techvis efforts and you begin to grasp the complexity and enormity of the Marvel projects they’ve been involved with, as well as the tremendous skills and expertise their talented artists have routinely applied to some of the most sophisticated and expansive movie productions of all-time.
AWN has covered a large chunk of The Third Floor’s work over the years, with numerous feature articles showcasing various studio team members, who shared their insights into how, working alongside a bevy of directors, producers, VFX supervisors and editors, they helped shape the Marvel film franchise.
In an AWN exclusive, to help celebrate 10 “Marvel-ous” years and 18 feature films culminating with this year’s Avengers: Endgame, The Third Floor has shared a number of previs, techvis and postvis images from 12 MCU projects, which we’ve compiled, along with descriptions and artist quotes discussing various aspects of the work.
The Avengers (2012)
On The Avengers, Nick Markel, previsualization supervisor, notes, “When we started this iconic shot [shown above], my goal was to make every frame look like a poster for the movie. It was all going well until we realized Hulk's size threw off the entire orbit! We made compromises, putting a few characters on top of cars, but arrived at a successful composition. Nothing more iconic than all our heroes back to back, ready to face off against Loki and his army!”
Ant-Man (2015) and Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018)
Visualization supervisor Jim Baker (on both Ant-Man films) told AWN on that Ant-Man, his team had the task of providing much needed cinematic answers regarding how best to approach the movie’s subject matter. “It’s great to work with the characters and creativity on any Marvel project!” Baker says. “Similar to other movies, our team contributed previs and postvis to help visualize the action and ways to achieve it technically on the set and in visual effects. On sequences such as the Helicopter Fight, we helped depict and develop certain story points. In contrast to other productions, a different challenge on this film was the scale of the characters. A lot of our efforts were focused on developing approaches to the macro photography, which types of shots, lenses and angles worked to sell the size of Ant-Man and the world he is in.”
Previs was used to help calculate real-world camera distances, positions and speeds in relation to live-action models and sets for key shots, while postvis work included adding key CG elements, like incorporating a mask on a character, animating Yellowjacket’s mechanical arms to the action or comping out blue screens, so the filmmakers could see working versions of shots.