Marvel approached Blur Studios with a loose script that became the blockbuster's three-and-half-minute prologue. "From the start we all knew it needed to be big - the last giant battle of a long war," says Blur Studio co-founder Tim Miller.
The team created a detailed previz of the entire sequence that became the blueprint for the CG and live action. "The final sequence is over 75 shots - more than a third of which are entirely CG with digital Asgardian warriors and Dark Elves seamlessly blended with live-action performers."
Thor was the first substantial amount of shots delivered under a demanding timeline for Blur Studio, a company usually used to creating video game cinematics.
"We weren’t previously equipped to thoroughly handle many aspects of the live action VFX work, so developing a methodology on the fly in the midst of production was particularly challenging," says VFX supervisor Kevin Margo.
The solution was to bring new members onto the project who were experienced in live action, adding to the studio's knowledge base in the process. "Exposing the existing insanely talented and capable Blur team to their live-action knowledge helped get everyone up to speed," Margo comments.
Roughly 50 per cent of the Thor prologue shots are entirely CG. The schedule was tight, but Miller and the team found decisions easy to come by once work was underway.
"With everyone's complete attention on every goal or milestone along the way... in that context, under that pressure, the most efficient answers were made clear."
This article originally appeared in 3D World issue 178.