Continuity is obviously important to Marvel based on the tremendous amount of details they pack into their movies without any (or many) plot holes. When it comes to characters, though, it’s been confirmed they did miss one little thing. Even the editors happened to not catch something related to none other than Thanos.
One problem with the above villain was there was a gap between movies when he first made his appearance to when he became the center of the plot in Avengers: Endgame. This leap between Infinity War and Endgame wasn’t huge, but enough where more detail had to be put into Thanos’ look once he became the main nemesis.
Recently, the special effects team noticed one little gaffe related to the armor suit Thanos wears. Yes, these tech wizards fessed up to it, if not taking away from the astonishing work they put in.
What did the special effects designers miss?
According to a YouTube video, the Endgame artists discussed their design of Thanos and called out one little problem with the character’s glove. One of the biggest challenges with visual editing is dealing with something called clipping. Clipping hides part of the animation mask to make things look more three-dimensional.
During the above video, one of the artists points out a clipping issue with Thanos’ fingers as he does the snap with the Infinity Gauntlet. Matt Aiken, one of the head supervisors for Endgame special effects, says they somehow missed this important detail.
They all nervously laugh it off in the video while really being much ado about nothing. To the naked eye, there isn’t anything there anyone would call out unless studying the shot frame by frame. Of course, some Marvel fans do this to scope out every production morsel.
Even so, it’s interesting they, and the filmmakers, didn’t seem to notice the mistake. It proves the tremendous amount of detailed work put into the MCU movies, something any fan should appreciate.
Rewarding when CGI works well
If there’s a backlash against CGI of late, the digital effects in the MCU films is unarguably astonishing. One can debate forever on whether CGI really “humanizes” the characters in the Marvel films, despite Thanos already being a challenge since it’s all motion capture from actor Josh Brolin.
What the digital team has done is amazing enough in making things look at least believable. Nevertheless, Aiken points out in the above video there’s always more they could have done to fix tiny errors.
Working on Thanos’ armor was especially tough because they didn’t want to take away from Brolin’s performance in his own body. That said, they still have to embellish digitally since Thanos is double Brolin’s real size.
Now with this revelation of a special effects mistake, it’s probably going to tip off fans to hunt out further Endgame errors, or in future MCU films. It wouldn’t be the only digital faux pas made in the CGI era.
Digital errors have been plenty since the CGI era began
Look around online and it’s easy to find myriad lists of CGI fumbles that went unnoticed by the director or anyone else. Some of them were so blatant, it’s made many wonder whether anyone was really awake at the wheel.
A few of these can be forgiven in films made during the earlier days of CGI. In some cases, similar digital effects were being utilized in films back to the early ’80s with equal FX botches.
The Star Wars prequels are equally notorious for various CGI mistakes, outside of “blink and you’ll miss it” moments. The Thanos glove problem above seems to pale in comparison to more egregious special effects problems of the last decade.
As the MCU films become more elaborate as time goes on, Marvel’s special effect gurus have their work cut out for them. Expect them to start watching the work prints several extra times in their sleep to make sure they don’t end up on the next CGI blunder list several years from now.
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