Feature Films VFX

Guardians of the Galaxy 3

Wētā FX


From a giant spaceship to explosive FX work, the team at Wētā had lots of fun wrapping up the end of the Guardians trilogy in a crescendo of visual effects. Cleverly disguised as a modern office building, the Arête’s launch into space leaves a path of destruction back on Counter-Earth, including flooding, collapsing buildings, lava, and multicolored smoke.

Using multiple layers of detailed destruction was key to achieving a realistic look to the devastation. The team simulated concrete glass, metal, plastic, cables, earth, and grass all simultaneously interacting with each other to fracture, bend, tear and snap. As the center of the third- act action (and Wētā’s largest model build to date), the Arête spaceship required a new approach to ensure the model could host all the story beats. At 3,500 meters in length and hosting a range of sub-environments the team tackled the model in a highly art directable manner – developing a new pipeline to increase creative iterations.

The Arête was designed to be destruction-ready, with each level of the build carefully modelled to accommodate bespoke destruction as the model fractures apart from the inside-out into a myriad of pieces, both large and small. The explosive end is enhanced by multiple layers of fire and combustion FX simulations which were run across the entire model. A key section of Weta’s work in the third act was the glorious 150-second-long fight sequence. Assembled from 18 plates with only a few hero characters, the team choreographed a single seamless camera path to blend the individual shots and stay true to the live action character performances.

The sequence required a tight digital recreation of the fight hall environment that got increasingly more complex as bodies stack up around our heroes, meaning continuity played a crucial role throughout the shot.

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Visual Effects Supervisor Guy Williams
Sequence VFX Supervisors Daniel Macarin, Jason Galeon
VFX Producer Marvyn Young
Animation Supervisor Michael Cozens