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The Making of Spider-Man 3

Posted by Baburam on July 25, 2007


Filming of the Movie
Spider-Man 3 has the second largest budget of all time, $258 million. You can get a whole lot of visual effects with that kind of money. It is reported that $58 million was spent on visual effects in Spider-Man 2 so it is probably even more this time around.
There are 10 companies credited for various parts of visual effects work on SM3, they are: Tweak Films, SPI, Furious FX, Pixel Liberation Front, GKR, New Deal Studios, Evil Eyes Pictures, Digital Dream, CafeFX, and Halon. Over a thousand people worked on the visual effects, sound, and art.

Stunts and Live Action Filming

A lot of the live action scenes were shot on Euclid Avenue in Cleveland. The mayor even re-paved some roads for smoothness that was needed for filming. Cleveland Convention Center was used as a auto shop for working on over 60 cars in the movie and also housed wardrobe, offices, and the art department.Ground up corn was used for Sandman shots such as the Armored Car scene. Some stunts required days of rigging work and hundreds of thousands of dollars just to pull them off.Most of the movies action scenes and Spider-Man scenes were done by taking some live action shots and then blending those shots with CG characters and effects. All visual effects shots were pre-visualized with drawings and those pre-vis drawings were carefully followed.

had to scan the character into the computer, take motion capture tests to get down facial expressions, and take images of the way there skin reacts to light. They did all of this by putting the actors into the costumes and getting images of thousands of different lighting situations with a special light rig. Then the CGI characters were then melded with the real life shots or made by comparing the shots with CG lighting. For creating the characters heads, they would take 360-degree HDR images of the environment and then use a software algorithm to blend together images to get the right look. Another thing they wanted to do was make the muscles and the way the CG characters move as realistic as possible. So special tools and proprietary scripts were written specifically for Spider-Man 3 that shows muscle detail like no other movie has done before.spider-man-3-13.jpg

Whenever live shots were done with wires, the crew followed pre-vis drawings and used a laptop to composite effects so they could see if they had takes that would work. Director Sam Raimi said “ Anything that’s dangerous or that wouldn’t look physically sound we go with the CG character.”

Hardware and Software Info

  • Was shot with Panaflex Cameras by Panavision in 35mm format
  • Hardware used for creating visual effects: Mostly Linux machines and some Windows
  • Stereoscopic lighting done with Maya, Renderman, Shake, and Inferno
  • Most of the rendering was done with Maya and Renderman
  • Scott Stodyk (main editor) used a mini skyscraper section at 1/16th of scale instead of using CGI so that damage to the building would be more realistic and to save money.
  • Visual effects budget was most likely over $60 million

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