SHARING AMERICA'S TECH NEWS FROM THE VALLEY TO THE ALLEY
In order to re-imagine the Superman universe for Man of Steel, director Zack Snyder looked for new ways to help tell the superhero story, including innovative visual effects for the technology used by the inhabitants of Krypton, Superman’s home planet. These included “liquid geo” displays, which could visualize anything from people to ships to planets and even X-rays. The displays were brought to life by the visual effects artists at Weta Digital in Wellington, New Zealand, and rendered using fluid simulation technology.
“Basically, it’s a bunch of silver beads that are suspended through a magnetic field, and the machine is able to control that magnetic field so that the collection of beads behave almost like three-dimensional pixels,” said Weta’s visual effects supervisor Dan Lemmon.
The “liquid geo” effects were used in particularly striking scene where Superman’s father explains the history of Krypton to his son, and the pair are surrounded by animated depictions of major events that unfold around them in slightly embossed style that Lemmon said was inspired by everything from bas-relief from the Rockefeller Center to classical Greco-Roman design. “[We] explored those kind of aesthetic looks but applied [them] to spaceships and alien planets and alien technology,” said Lemmon.