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'The Avengers' visual effects reel reveals how ILM built a fictional New York City

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Avengers effects
Avengers effects

In celebration of its Oscar nomination, ILMVisualFX has released a video breaking down the slew of effects used in Marvel's The Avengers. The reel shows how the company built and rendered the city of New York as well as the process of animating Tony Stark's Ironman suit and Mark Ruffalo as the Hulk. In the comments, ILMVisualFX has answered a few questions about its visual effects process, saying that the company uses ILM Zeno for modeling, Maya for animation, and — for the most part — Pixar Renderman for rendering. The textures of all the buildings in the animated version of New York City were created using about 1,800 panoramas of real city buildings. The Avengers faces strong competition from others in the visual effects category — The Hobbit, Life of Pi, and Prometheus among them — but it's still fascinating to see what's behind the company's immense contribution to one of last year's most popular blockbusters.