The MCU series, She-Hulk: Attorney at Law had been at the receiving end of quite a lot of criticism for various reasons upon its premiere in August, and its not-so-flattering CGI was one of them. But a VFX artist who worked on the Disney+ series provided an explanation about the same in a recent interview, as he went ahead to lay down the reasons behind She-Hulk’s controversial CG look.
Comparing Tatiana Maslany’s character with Josh Brolin’s supervillain Thanos, Marvel’s VFX artist pointed out that the central reason why the CG aspects concerning the former might not have come off as the most impressive was because of the “range of emotions” that She-Hulk’s superhero was required to portray on the screen, which made things all the more difficult for the digital and tech team to navigate.
Marvel VFX artist reveals why She-Hulk faced CGI problems
The Head of Animation at Digital Domain, Jan Philip Cramer has worked as the animation director for various MCU hit films including Avengers: Infinity War, Avengers: Endgame, and Spider-man: Homecoming. And one of his most recent projects involved overseeing the visual effects on the Disney+ series, She-Hulk: Attorney at Law.
When Cramer sat down with Befores & Afters to talk about Jessica Gao’s legal superhero comedy, he revealed how their crew had come across certain issues with regard to the CGI elements of Jennifer Walters, aka, She-Hulk, and how it was a much more challenging job than it had been while they’d worked on the character of Thanos.
“It’s also important to remember that Thanos was a bald, angry man, and Tatiana is a young, bubbly actress with a huge range of emotions, and she portrays them very vividly on her face.”
Tatiana Maslany‘s She-Hulk was developed in such a way that it was imperative for her character to depict “a full range of emotions and facial expressions,” which wasn’t the case with the Eternal-Deviant warlord, because all Thanos had to do was look furious and intimidating.
“It turns out that the difficulty was way higher than what we created for Thanos, because Thanos didn’t need to show many emotions. He just looked great when he was looking stoically at the camera or was angry. But now with She-Hulk, we had to show a full range of emotions and facial expressions, including happy, drunk and giggling, all while talking, and the system has to still maintain and capture this.”
Not to mention, the show’s creator had already admitted to not having a fully structured plan with regard to the CGI effects pertaining to the character earlier this year before the series was released.
Why She-Hulk is different from other Marvel characters
As Cramer explained the difficulties they faced with the development of She-Hulk’s CGI, Sidney Kombo-Kintombo, yet another professional animator who worked on the series, mentioned how She-hulk’s character is a “full human” one unlike the plethora of other MCU superheroes, which further sets her apart.
“If you look at She-Hulk, even compared to all the other female characters that we have done, there is no question. She is a full human character. Marvel didn’t even make her a caricature of anything. Even the Hulk is a little bit of a caricature, right? He has a smaller nose, he has a massive jaw.”
This particular aspect about Jennifer Walters was perhaps one of the biggest challenges the showrunners and creative directors have faced. And this is exactly the reason why the audience should keep in mind the array of things that go into the construction and development of a character before they blast a show for not doing enough because it’s all easier said than done.
Season 1 of She-Hulk: Attorney at Law is on Disney+.
Source: The Direct