One of the more interesting and unorthodox Marvel properties to come out from Disney recently has been Ms. Marvel, the story of a young superhero (Iman Vellani) named Kamala Khan who struggles to balance powers and a burgeoning social life.
There’s a bit of a difference between Marvel’s Disney Plus show and its movies. The latter usually have bigger budgets, which translates to some higher level VFX. Showrunners Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah even admitted that they had to cut some big visual things from the show because of budgets and timeframes.
One of the bigger plot points in Ms. Marvel was the veil, a sort of interdimensional world. In an interview with The Direct, VFX Supervisor Kevin Yuille talked about the work that went into creating the veil and how much crazier it would have been if the show was a movie.
Yuille explained that his VFX company, Fuse FX, was handling the work, and that it was on a tight schedule and the effect of the veil initially wasn’t “where Marvel landed on what they really wanted to see.”
The issue arose mostly because other teams didn’t have the resources to complete the work, and they left Fuse FX with a lot to do.
“So, Fuse FX, we kind of joined at the end, it had been in production for a long time. So long that some of the vendors, you know, because there were reshoots and such, they couldn’t stay on the show. They were like, ‘We don’t have the resources, we gotta move on.’ So we kind of picked up where some others had left off on that sequence specifically, but we had a pretty tight schedule. There was a lot of legwork done before us, some other companies had some really cool looks for early versions of this Veil, but of course, that’s not where Marvel landed on what they really wanted to see.”
He explained that early versions of the veil looked more like a colorful fire, and that eventually the team settled on something “more fabric-y” and literal.
“So going through many, many iterations … we came to the conclusion ‘OK, we have to pivot and change how we’re doing it.’ So really, you want to create light that is pooling out of a hole. It’s almost like fabric. The name is ‘the Veil,’ so it’s kind of like ‘OK, maybe we should be literal and kind of go more with almost sheets of light coming out.’ If you look, it looks more fabric-y, it has flow and curls and it flaps and stuff like that. And then when it gets angry, it shoots tentacles of light, they even have fabric qualities to it. So I think that was a moment where we’re like ‘OK, cool, we have something that is different.’ It was pretty unique.”
The effect turned out to be one of the biggest the team ever worked on, with “30 or 40 renders put together, different passes that comp is using to shift colors.”
“Had this been a feature film, they would have destroyed that environment. You would’ve seen stuff ripping on the ground, it would have been crazy, but given the time, we had to do a lot of stuff in comp, so there was a lot of special passes to make the ground kind of distort and get spiky.”
Maybe we’ll get to see the super veil if Marvel ever decides to turn Ms. Marvel into a movie. In the meantime, the whole run of the series so far is streaming on Disney Plus.