Disney Plus’ She-Hulk is one of the best Marvel showings of 2022, despite intensely polarized opinions online.
As with far too many things these days, the She-Hulk viewership remains starkly split in its reaction to the series.
One of the major criticisms brought against She-Hulk — apart from the absolute gall of starring a powerful female lead — relates to the show’s CGI. Given that the series revolves around a Hulk, a good portion of the show’s nine episodes feature at least one towering green behemoth, typically the titular She-Hulk.
The occasionally shoddy CGI rife in She-Hulk recently got an explanation via a recent interview with the visual effects’ supervisor behind the character, and fans are not convinced. Per an interview with Befores and Afters (via TheDirect), Jan Philip Cramer says She-Hulk’s CGI quality was lower than other CGI characters like Thanos because she’s a woman with emotions.
“CGI ‘difficulty’ was significantly ‘higher than what Marvel created for Thanos, because Thanos didn’t need to show many emotions,'” a quote from Cramer reveals. This apparently came as a surprise to the CGI team, which struggled to portray the broad range of emotions realistically.
The idea that “emotions” are the reason behind She-Hulk’s shoddy CGI immediately sparked outrage among the Marvel fandom.
People were quick to point out several of the more emotional Thanos scenes as proof that the VFX artists were wrong, but not everyone agrees. Plenty of people agreed that Thanos, in general, shows less emotion than She-Hulk, but few people seem to think this is the primary culprit behind the show’s CGI problems.
Instead, the comment section — which is apparently more informed on CGI than actual VFX artists — proclaimed that it is the texture on Thanos’ face, rather than his lack of visible emotion, that makes the character easier to CGI. She-Hulk’s smoothed-out features, and lack of clear, defining texture, are apparently the primary culprit behind the difference in quality.
Once it was pointed out that the same lead VFX artist — Jan Philip Cramer at Digital Domain — was behind both Marvel creations, arguments against the VFX team’s explanation started to fall apart.
In attempting to point out the scenes in which Thanos shows emotions, commenters inadvertently proved the VFX team correct. While it’s certainly true that the character portrays genuine emotion at several points, it’s clear that Thanos doesn’t boast nearly the range or diversity of emotions of She-Hulk.
Despite the pushback, the majority of people seem to agree on several points. For one, while She-Hulk doesn’t boast the stellar CGI of films like Infinity War, Jen still looks pretty spectacular. Her range of emotions is well communicated, even through CGI, and it’s an impressive feat. There’s also the fact that the team behind She-Hulk made Thanos, and thus are the only authorities on the different challenges each character presents.
Maybe we should just listen to the experts, instead of complaining.