Deadpool Before-and-After VFX Shots Break Down That Deadly Freeway Scene

Wednesday, 02 March 2016 - 2:52PM
Deadpool
Wednesday, 02 March 2016 - 2:52PM
Deadpool Before-and-After VFX Shots Break Down That Deadly Freeway Scene
If you remember, the leaked test footage that started this whole Deadpool phenomenon featured the Merc with a Mouth dispatching thugs on a freeway. Now that the movie has actually come to life, that violent opening scenes is one of the film's biggest achievements, and now a series of before-and-after VFX shots break down exactly how they pulled it off.

Deadpool VFX

Deadpool VFX

For the opening titles, which previewed the freeway fight scene with entirely CG shots (and delightfully meta credits), VFX supervisor Pauline Duvall would previs, or pre-visualize, the action in order to create an entirely digital frame. 

Previs shot:

Deadpool VFX

Final shot:

Deadpool VFX

Most of the shots in the fight scene were entirely digitally created as well, as the stunts were too dangerous to perform on an actual freeway. 

Deadpool VFX

Deadpool VFX

Deadpool VFX

Deadpool VFX

Some of the shots were filmed on a green screen, mostly for close-ups and scenes that took place inside the cars. But the freeway itself was entirely digitally re-created.

Deadpool VFX

Deadpool VFX

VFX vendor Atomic Fiction handled the CG for the freeway fight scene, and so were also responsible for the "Counting Bullets" sequence. Here is a mock-up by Atomic Fiction of the now-iconic shot, using a wireframe Deadpool made by Digital Domain.

Deadpool VFX

Deadpool VFX

But Luma Pictures handled what was arguably the grossest VFX achievement in Deadpool: the baby hand, and VFX supervisor Vince Cirelli's description of the effect somehow makes it even grosser:

Deadpool VFX

Opening quote
"It was tricky because it couldn't be like a baby hand, because a baby hand actually doesn't look like that," Cirelli told FX Guide. "It needed to be a fetus hand. They were sending us this horrible reference of fetus' but it was so we could get that translucency right. We used a multi-layered shader in Arnold for the sub-surface and we actually had geometry inside that geometry to really get the veining."
Closing quote

Deadpool has been hailed as groundbreaking in its visual effects, and probably in ways that you didn't even notice. Deadpool's facial expressions, for example, were almost entirely digitally created (not to take anything away from Ryan Reynolds' wonderful performance):

Opening quote
"Even the dialogue for Deadpool informed the VFX," said overall visual effects supervisor Jonathan Rothbart, "so for example I'd be having this conversation with Weta Digital, who did some facial animation, saying, 'No no no, his eyebrows need to go up on 'shit', and down on 'fuck'.'"
Closing quote

Deadpool is now out in theaters. If you haven't seen it yet, you should.
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