Here’s a short but fascinating glimpse into the world of CGI, and how photography was used to help digitally build New York from the ground up for The Avengers movie. As it turns out, creating a digital world into which you can insert these actors takes, not only an insane amount of CGI and attention to detail, but a whole lot of photos to lay the groundwork.
Because of the many restrictions placed on a studio when they try to film in New York, the visual effects people behind the movie The Avengers knew that many of the scenes the film called for would have to be shot on green screen.
But rebuilding New York on a green screen takes a lot of images. How many? Between day and night shoots, from cranes and rooftops all across NYC, the crew created some 2,000 “spheres” made up of over 250,000 images.
That photography laid the foundation upon which the world was built. And what’s more, they had to sometimes insert more photography into their photography: for one of Iron Man’s high-flying night shots, they took pictures of all the rooms at their facility and inserted them into the buildings so that you could realistically see inside the offices he was flying by — pretty incredible stuff.