Everyone has waited for the vengeance of Marvel superheroes in Avengers – End Game, after the release Avengers Infinity War where Thanos heartlessly vanished half of the population of our favorite Marvel Universe. (Spoiler Alert!) Not everyone expected that Avengers and all other MCU heroes joined together to reverse Thanos’ merciless work to and once again defeat him. Although, some of us are heartbroken for the passing of other heroes at the recent movie’s ending.
Who is Thanos? As far as I have followed MCU movies, I recall first Thanos’ appearance was on the post credit of Iron Man movie. He may not be entirely a selfish antagonist; but he has unconventional way how to save the universe from deteriorating. He has a good motive by wiping out half of the population.
How do people behind the Avengers and Thanos’ CGI is able to make every character interesting and plausibly incredible? Here’s the 25 Avengers’ Villain Thanos CGI Facts that will surely leave you scratching your head in amazement!
Thanos CGI Facts
#1 From print to big screen
Marvel comics heroes are used to be overthrown by marketing strategy of DC comics characters. Not until Marvel allowed rights to Disney to transform its comics character into animated moving pictures. Which Disney production does best – creating and releasing box office hit movies. With the use of advanced digital CGI tool, Thanos together with the rest of the Marvel heroes were brought to life from print. Thus, the beginning of Marvel Cinematic Universe.
#2 Magic of digital editing
Aside from makeup, most of the time Thanos and the rest of the actors need to work around green screen, wear special suits that has special marks which allow digital artist manipulate the output on screen.
When it comes to stunts in flying and crashing, literally actors and stuntmen need to fly using harness do a lot of acrobatics and crash into burning flames if needed to. Visual effects are then added, not faked. Special FX software are only used to highlight, and improve scenes.
During promotional interviews in the past, MCU actors would candidly joke around how silly they have to act out on things that aren’t there but have to pretend knowing that everything will be edited and exist on the final video.
#3 Video shooting Costume
Aside from being silly around green screen, Thanos actor has to wear a fitted motion-capture-suit which is too tight. Actors must both act and at the same time work around the motion-marked-points not to block it in front of camera for easier visual edits and additional effects.
#4 Thanos color changes
For those who have keen eyes, you must have noticed the change in color, skin texture, and facial expression of Thanos on its appearances on all Marvel movies.
According to the Marvel movie’s visual effects supervisor, Matt Aitken, from the original Thanos character Mad Titan which has brusquer and rocky feature – the team has come up in making Thanos’ film version subtler and should match according to the movie and characters whom he should appear with.
#5 Thanos saved Marvel’s mediocre CGI stereotype
With the creative concept of including Thanos character in the movie script, the first few appearances of the most celebrated Avengers’ villain used to have a sloppy sketch and even final CGI representation on movies.
The plan of making a storyline for the three MCU films surrounding Guardians of the Galaxy, Avengers Infinity War, and Avengers End Game made different alterations on the physical feature of Thanos’ animation.
#6 What software are used on Thanos’ CGI
Marvel’s digital, visual, and video artists maximized the use of CGI tools to make Thanos’ character and the rest of Marvel gang close to reality images. Actors portraying their respective roles are not enough, to make the movie interesting. Special effects and proper editing are needed.
Admittedly, Disney movies doesn’t give away easily software or visual tools for most of their movies. It’s obvious, they wanted it to be their edge over their rival film production outfits.
With the quality of film MCU and Disney have opted to use in their VFX animation, most common software will be Adobe, Houdini, and Maya. For skin, texture, and color palette design is more likely to use Baselight, Flame, Nuke, and Zbrush. Lighting and render effects Katana and Clarisse are best tools for it.
Generally, The world of Marvel is composed of hundreds of creative hands and minds which the producers have to outsource to come up with a high-end and quality VFX movie.
#7 Painstaking process
Thanos’ actor didn’t just act around green screen. He should be shot and edited frame by frame. Although not all Thanos’ composition in the film are 100% CGI effects, but combining both into one shot is only half the battle.
Every shot, and scene must be according to the movie’s theme. The scale of the color palette, edges, and distinct feature of Thanos should coincide with the other actors included in a single shot.
Every sound effects, animation, color, and visual rendered are all assigned on separate teams working on each frame. Job are segmented into scene and per shot. Before the final output, if it does not pass the directors’ cut, it means back to the drawing board. It has to be shot again, redesign, edited, put into frame by frame, and so on. It’s a painstaking process until the final copy has been rendered.
#8 Funny fact
Thanos actor’s shot often require him to act holding up a huge stick with his cut out of head and broad shoulders of the character as he acts out his lines. This allows the visual artists measure the dimension of the effects needed in the film’s background; as well as the adjustment needed for the other actor’s costumes.
#9 How did Thanos movie version finalized
With all the make-up testing, Adobe paint changes, lighting setting, and video testing – it took ages for the team of Avengers production to finally come up with the film version of Thanos. Although, the Thanos we knew in comics has resemblance with the Thanos in the movies, there is a tedious process coming up with the final image of the supervillain on screen. Movie character creators and designers opted also to highlight Josh Broslin’s personality as they believe he embodied the over assertive and too sympathetic antagonist.
Thanos’ Actor Trivia
#10 Which actor played Thanos?
The first actor who played Thanos was Damion Poitier. It was the first time Mad Titan (now famous as Thanos) was introduced in 2012’s The Avengers movie post credit showing a mysterious creature accepting a gift from Thor’s mischievous brother Loki.
But the succeeding film, Poitier didn’t reprise the role. Instead it was given to Josh Brolin. Marvel producer Kevin Feige said the role was too perfect for Brolin that even without CGI effects or makeup, he embodied Thanos’ character. However, Poitier still starred in other MCU movies like Iron Man as a counterpart armed men against the protagonist heroes.
#11 Thanos’ actor is a jack of all trade
Before being part of the most coveted science fiction – adventure movie, Avengers sequel, Josh Brolin is a consistent respectable actor. He was often nominated as best actor for almost all the roles he played. Until Thanos’ character came along. Brolin is a businessman (once admitted being addicted in investing around stocks), producer, and actor for both TV and movies. If you are quick enough to notice, he have cameo roles in another sci-fi comedy movie sequel Men in Black as young Tommy Lee Jone’s Character – Agent K.
#12 How much did Thanos actor make?
Josh Brolin was able to earn about $6 million for portraying the role of Thanos the Mad Titan in all MCU films.
Breakthrough on Thanos Character
#13 Thanos character breaking Marvel’s villain stigma
Marvel character creators has not given enough focus on Thanos’ strength and evilness. His character is weaker as compared to other Marvel comics character like Kilmonger, Zemo, or Malekith the Dark Elf, and other antagonists.
Movie creators and producers have revived and actually made a good twist and turn on Thanos’ character for movies.
#14 Thanos creators
The supervillain in Avengers team is conceptualized and created by MCU artists Jim Starlin and Mike Friedrich.
#15 First publication
The extreme universe advocate, Mad Titan (Thanos), who often deemed to be evil was first known in prints was published on American comic book under Marvel comics in 1973. Thanos was the antagonist in the comic issue #55 story, The invincible Iron Man.
Later, Thanos appeared in other Marvel heroes comics issue such as Guardians of Galaxy, Fantastic Four and even X-men.
#16 Character inspiration and reference
Creative writer of Thanos of Titan (or Mad Titan) admitted that somehow, Thanos is an inspiration of Marvel’s rival comics company DC’s “Darkseid”. The rocky built and muscular stature is almost the same as Thanos’ although Darkseid is either in shade of peach or blue. Thanos on the other hand is painted in shade of lavender or purple.
#17 The eternal Thanos
Based on Marvel comics, Thanos is an immortal because he is from Titan. Titans are considered to be eternal, meaning having traits of immortality, unless killed intentionally.
#18 Other hero rivaled and clashed with Thanos
Thanos became a household name because of the release of movies with Avengers movies, Iron Man, and Guardians of the Galaxy. Not a lot knew about Thanos until his character was realized in the big screen. For Marvel comics fans, I am pretty sure you may have encountered him battling with Fantastic Four, and X-Men in past print issues.
#19 Thanos’ weakness
Thanos is has unresolved desire for Death. Death is also known as the Mistress of Death or Lady Death. She is a female villain which first introduced in Captain Marvel comics.
The comics version showed Thanos as a sympathetic and has an extreme desire for peace and order. However, this blinded him in doing what is right and humane. Often resorting from killing even the innocent ones. Thanos cannot handle his emotions well and is often blinded with the ultimate purpose which he thinks he need to accomplish regardless of the consequence.
Thanos’ Infamous Armor Glove
#20 The Infinity Gauntlet
Thanos has always been a selfless death squad killing species of his own, to retain balance and order in their land. That’s when he was able to meet his adopted daughter Gimora when he refused to include her with the fatalities.
When Thanos’ extreme and desire to level up and wipe out half of the population in the entire universe to balance peace and decrease deterioration of all resources. This is when the sympathetic villain planned to collect all the stones that could realize his plan that can wipe out most of the race in the entire universe in just one snap.
#21 Infinity gem stones
The Infinity Gauntlet consists of six stones, which was termed as Soul Gems in earlier comics version. The six gems are the mind (red) stones, power (yellow) stone, reality (orange) stone, soul (violet) stone, space (green) stone, and time (blue) stone.
#22 Can Thanos’ gauntlet really snap?
With the help of CGI and sound effects, Thanos actor is able to snap the Infinity Gauntlet. But in reality – in movie script, comics, and movie prop, the supposed destructive glove is made out of copper or gold-like metal.
The snapping sound can only be produced by a friction made between a skin-like material. Plus, the actual gauntlet of Thanos is too heavy and huge for actors to snap.
The Infinity Gauntlet measures to almost 24 inches. So definitely, neither Iron Man and Thanos would have had hard time carrying the heavy hand armor, and couldn’t possibly snap it.
#23 Google search: Thanos ad
On the day of the showing of the of the movie “Avengers – End Game”, online marketing strategy was so clever. Since Thanos name made a buzz on the movie prior the End Game, dissolving half of our favorite Marvel heroes, a campaign was passed on.
Everyone was passing to type and search “THANOS” on Google search button. Instruction of clicking the Infinity gauntlet will slowly delete all topics searched about Thanos. By clicking the gauntlet again, all erased searched items will go back to normal. Clever marketing plot!
Movie Price Tag
#25 Avengers End Game cost
The making of the Avengers: Endgame was able to spend a hefty amount of #350million, which includes, actors fee, production cost, marketing, and all overhead costs! With that, since the release of the movie, it has already reached a sales of over $2.2billion! It surpassed Titanic’s profit for 11 days.
#25 Who killed Thanos?
On one instance in Marvel comics, “The Thing” and Captain Marvel made a huge role in stopping and killing Thanos together with the other Avengers.
However, the current “Avengers: End Game” movie retells it differently. I won’t tell you yet because the movie is still showing on big screen.
More Avengers trivia?
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