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Black Panther
Wakanda Forever
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  • Director
    Ryan Coogler
  • Studio
    Marvel Studios, Walt Disney Studios
  • VFX Studio
    Luma Pictures
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What happens now determines what happens to the rest of the world.

In Marvel Studio’s Black Panther, T'Challa returns home to the isolated, technologically advanced African nation of Wakanda to succeed to the throne and take his rightful place as king after the death of his father.

Luma was thrilled to be involved in this historically groundbreaking Marvel film. Our team created 227 visual effects shots for three big sequences in the film including the CIA Black Site, the Busan Casino and the epic Busan Street Chase.

In the Casino scene, Black Panther tracks Klaue as he attempts to exchange vibranium for money, which leads to an epic battle within the busy casino. Luma VFX Supervisor, Kevin Souls, was on set for the filming of this sequence and recalls, “the intention was to shoot the entire sequence as one continuous shot. Later, we would either use CG, characters, camera moves or objects on set as a means of transition.”

Luma added digital lights, ceiling, destruction and replaced the actors with virtual characters in some of the shots. The team replaced T’Challa when he makes a gigantic leap from the first floor to the second floor.

 

Klaue’s arm is essentially a prosthetic that contains a weapon made of technology stolen from Black Panther. It shoots a sound wave which reverberates through the environment and breaks objects into hundreds of pieces. The production created concept art for the gun and Andy Serkis wore a detailed silicon prosthetic glove, which became the base for the closed shape and material properties of the arm. Above all, the gun needed to be mechanically plausible, but also still feel intimidating and imposing.

Klaue’s arm opens up to fire a ‘Sonic Disruptor’—an effect that distorts space as the energy ripples through the air and dismantles the target into an array of mechanical parts and pieces. Luma researched various phenomena like sonic booms and shock waves: the sonic booms formed the basis of the elements distorting the photography, but “because the look was tied so closely to the distortion of the backgrounds in each shot, our fx team had to figure out a way to keep the design consistent across the sequences,” says VFX Supervisor, Brendan Seals.

Klaue escapes the Casino and T’challa runs into the street in his tuxedo, which morphs into his Black Panther suit. To achieve this challenging shot, Luma built a virtual version of T’challa in his tuxedo and replaced everything except his face with a digital character. The Black Panther suit forms from nanobots underneath his tuxedo and causes it to burn off. Black Panther backflips onto the remotely driven Lexus LC-500 and the epic car chase ensues. Luma created CG cars, intersections, digi-doubles and buildings; in fact, many of the shots in this sequence were re-created in full CG.

Marvel supplied the studios with CAD builds of all the vehicles, LiDAR data and excellent reference photography. The Lexus LC-500, Lexus GSF and the Toyota 4Runner were the hero cars and used any time the Luma team needed to digitally replace and/or augment them in any way.

 “We had to damage the Lexus throughout the sequence with bullet hits, damages to the windshield and Panther’s claw marks, and so we built several versions of the car in various damaged states to play out continuity across the sequence”, says Seals. One of the most thrilling shots involved Klaue firing the sonic disruptor at Panther, causing the Lexus LC-500 to instantly obliterate into hundreds of pieces.

Raphael A. Pimentel, Animation Supervisor
There were a lot of moving parts and we hand-keyed most of the car pieces. That way we had full control and the ability to address very specific, art directed client notes.

The Black Panther asset was a shared asset amongst vendors and Luma led the charge on the build-up of purple kinetic energy through the suit’s design lines, the expulsion of energy, and of course, the massive shockwave that follows.

Luma also worked on the CIA Black Site sequence, which required Klaue’s arm replacements, more CG Panther work, and unique explosion FX interacting with our hero.

Wakanda will no longer watch from the shadows. We can not. We must not.
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