Avengers: Infinity Wars
Simone Riginelli, Weta Digital’s Compositing FX domain director created templates for compositors and lighters. These allowed artists to add dust across shots, add volumetric glow (including volumetric shadows), and create the ray-blasts from the power stones.
Dust on Titan
To efficiently produce 3D dust renders for shots on Titan, lighters were given a Nuke script containing a pre-cached dust simulation. Within Nuke, lighters were able adjust lighting and get correct shadowing from the Titan environment to create believable dust. This could be rendered using any shot camera. Lighters just had to move the dust 'donut' close to the shot camera and adjust the lighting. A simplified version of the Titan layout was created and imported into Nuke to create accurate shadowing and occlusion for the dust. Once a lighter was happy with a look, they could render a contact sheet for the Supervisor to review, allowing them to see the environment with and without dust, a diagnostic of the render and the render against black.
Weta compositors rendered many of the more subtle FX elements (dust, wafting smoke, atmos) through Eddy, even if the effect was generated in another package. This let them interactively tweak lighting, density and shading in full context of the final composite. This simplified the process immensely where dust was interacting with highly emissive objects and FX elements.
Power stone Effect
Dr. Strange’s mandala shield
The shot that best demonstrates the benefits Weta saw from adopting Eddy is Dr. Strange’s mandala shield. Weta had always planned to do most of the work in comp. The shield itself was simple geometry with procedural textures created in Nuke, and all the sparks are Nuke particles driven by those textures. They originally planned to generate the volume separately in FX; however, Eddy allowed them to streamline this as a single process and deliver the entire FX from the Comp department.