DOUBLE NEGATIVE SUITS UP FOR BATTLE IN IRON MAN 2
Double Negative worked on the tumultuous Monaco sequence in Iron Man 2, where Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.) racing in his own car, finds himself hijacked by his nemesis, Whiplash, sporting lethal electrical whips! Stark is assisted by Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) and his driver, Happy Hogan (played by the film's director, Jon Favreau) who drive onto the race track and throw Stark a high-tech suitcase that contains his lightweight, portable Mark V Iron Man armour.
Led by Double Negative's Visual Effects Supervisor, Ged Wright, 2D Supervisor, Victor Wade and co-CG Supervisors, Jordan Kirk and Katherine Roberts, the team worked closely with the film's overall VFX Supervisor, Janek Sirrs, to realise the dynamic sequence of events.
Dneg's work fell into three broad categories: the recreation of Monaco and the Grand Prix cars, Whiplash's electric whips and the destruction that followed, and the Mk V Iron Man armour and suit up.
Much of the environment work was focussed on the water front section of the Grand Prix circuit, this is the 'fight area' where the majority of the sequence takes place. Dneg also created 22 digital cars for the race, 2 highly detailed versions of each of the 11 cars that featured in the sequence.
Producing the look for Whiplash's whips and the damage they cause to the cars, the racing track and to Iron Man himself, was a considerable challenge. Aside from the core whip effect, which was generated in dozens of different FX passes with varying degrees of amplitude, frequency and motion blur; the whips also generate several secondary effects such as sparks, smoke, molten drops of metal, grounding arcs and - when they are being used to strike - a visible trail of energy.
Despite all that, the greatest challenges, both technically and creatively, on Iron Man 2 came from the Mk V Iron Man 'suitcase' armour. This portion of the work presented unique tests, firstly the conceptual challenge of making the deployment and assembly of the armour plausible and secondly the choreography of the close-quarters fight with Whiplash, which resulted in Iron Man's interaction with a live action performer, to whom he was directly connected to for much of the fight. The final Iron Man model was comprised of thousands of individually modelled and textured components.
In all, the Double Negative team worked on approximately 250 shots for the Monaco sequence.
Iron Man 2 opens on April 30th 2010 in the UK and May 7th, 2010 in the US