Disney+ has allowed the MCU to fully expand its story from purely cinematic adventures to more serialized, episodic additions over the past couple of years.

While this allows the franchise to be even more relatable by using actors from the big screen movies for the epic crossover events in its shows, there are new challenges that come from bringing the MCU into a TV-style setting. This mostly comes from a behind-the-scenes perspective, with a production budget and timeline that typically pales in comparison to what Marvel Studios film counterparts are allowed.

Part of this dichotomy was seen most recently in Ms. Marvel, with directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah even teasing some visual moments that had to be cut from some big episodes in an exclusive chat with The Direct. We also had the chance to speak with one of the show’s lead VFX supervisors, who shared some insight into one of Ms. Marvel’s biggest VFX moments from the penultimate episode of the show.

Craziest VFX in a Ms. Marvel?

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In an exclusive interview with The Direct’s Richard Nebens, Ms. Marvel VFX Supervisor Kevin Yuille discussed the work that went into the Veil from Episode 5 and how it would have been even crazier in a theatrical film.

Yuille revealed that his company, Fuse FX, was actually one of the last teams to complete the VFX work on Veil, noting how they were in “quite a busy schedule” and that the effect was not “where Marvel landed on what they really wanted to see” in that time:

“So Fuse FX, we 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 they said: ‘We don’t have the resources, we have to move on.’ So we picked up where some others had left off that sequence specifically, but we had a pretty tight schedule. There was a lot of work ahead of us, some other companies had some really nice looks for early versions of this Veil. . but of course, that wasn’t where Marvel landed on what they really wanted to see.”

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It reverted to the previous versions that were visible “a little more like colorful fire”, leading the team to adjust their idea of ​​what Veil would look like in the end. They settled on something that looked “more fabric-y” named “Vel”, choosing to go more literal in interpretation:

“So the early versions were a little bit more like a pyro sim, a little bit more like colorful fire. It was pretty detailed, but it looked a lot like fire, something that I would think people would say ‘Is that fire I’m me watching?’ They wanted it to not look like fire. So, going through many, many iterations of this, we came to the conclusion ‘OK, we need to pivot and change the way we’re doing it.’ So really, you want to create light that collects from a hole. It’s almost like fabric. The name is ‘Veil,’ so it’s like, ‘OK, maybe we should be literal and go more with almost sheets of to the light that comes out.’ If you look at it, it’s more fabric-like, and it’s flowing and curling and it’s bumping and things like that. And then when it gets angry, it shoots out tentacles of light, and they even have a fabric quality to it. So I think there was a moment where we’re like, ‘OK, well, we’ve got something that’s different.” It was pretty unique.”

The veil consisted of “30 to 40 merged renders,” leading him to compare the effect to how it would have been done in a movie.

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In that case, the entire setting would have been completely destroyed with the land and surroundings torn apart, although the nature of the project as a television show did not allow the time needed to complete it. Fuse FX was used instead “passes a lot of interactive lighting” so that the entire environment can be seen, with the Veil splitting into multiple layers along the way:

“So in terms of the number of elements…boy, it was very layered. When the Veil got really big, you’re probably looking at…I’d say 30 or 40 renders taken together, passes of different that he is using to change the colors. The environment, for example, time was an issue. If this was a feature film, they would have destroyed that environment. You would have seen things torn up on the ground, there would have been It was crazy, but given the time, we had to do a lot of things on the computer, so there were a lot of special passes to make the ground warp and spike. It could light up another part of the room. The veil itself, we had a core, and the core had some mirrors, and you had this inner veil that connected to the core, and then an outer veil, and then these … we call ‘achievers,’ those things that explode. It was a scenario big enough.”

This turned out to be one of the biggest effects Yuille had ever worked on, which was made more difficult by the tight schedule and turn in which it had to be completed:

“We used a program called Nuke for compositing, and they were big, big scripts, they were very heavy. Doing all those light effects where you get these lines and color separation, that was all the handling in the comp .It was one of the biggest effects I’ve worked on at Fuse, complicated by the schedule and whatnot.

Marvel working through TV restrictions on Ms. Marvel

Fans have learned over the past few years just how big the differences are between making a movie within the MCU and making an episodic show on Disney+. And while some are concerned about the working conditions Marvel’s VFX artists must endure to complete these shows, the team does the best job possible to make sure Disney+ stories still have visual effects good enough for to face the movies.

Seeing as Yuille’s work with Fuse FX came late in production Ms. Marvelhis team began to work only with what had already been created visually.

With a movie, he and his team would have stripped everything down to the basics during a scene like the opening of the Veil in Episode 5, using heavy visual effects on everything that could be seen on camera during that moment. This would be possible with the extended time frame that can be used for the MCU movies, especially since they are announced years in advance of when they will hit the big screen.

Although VFX artists are still worried about what kind of workload will come with everything on the way in Phase 5 and Phase 6, Marvel continues to refine its techniques as new projects head to theaters and Disney+. Ms. Marvel should be able to make improvements of her own if a second season is ordered, and fans will see even more improvements upon Kamala Khan’s return to Marvels also.

All six episodes of Ms. Marvel are available to stream on Disney+.

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