This Doctor Strange VFX Reel is Appropriately Mind-Bending
The visual effects company Framestore spent 11 months creating over 365 shots for Doctor Strange, which went on to be nominated for Best Visual Effects in the 2017 Academy Awards.
Framestore (which has also done VFX work for Beauty and the Beast, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, and Arrival) touched on a wide range of visual effect and animation work to create a variety of visuals for the film that didn’t exist while filming: everything from larger-scale environments to the fire-y sparks of Doctor Strange’s Eldritch magic to creating the look of the “astral form,” the transparent projection of Strange’s powers that allow him to exist in another plane while remaining invisible to humans.
VFX artists were also tasked with animating Doctor Strange’s Cloak of Levitation, which the Framestore team described as “a fully-formed character” itself. The team ended up animating some of the sets entirely—an effect called “Mandelbrotting,” named after the mathematical formula that creates intricate, kaleidoscopic patterns. With the Mandelbrotting effect, VFX Supervisor Mark Wilson said animators were able to completely pull apart and re-configure environments.
“One of the biggest challenges with the whole project is that nothing existed; you can’t google ‘Mirror Dimension’ and find a really good reference for it,” VFX Supervisor Mark Wilson said in an interview with ArtofVFX.com. “It’s very subjective. We used the comic books as reference and also with the filmmakers to make sure that the final look was right.”
You can read up on more Doctor Strange behind-the-scenes trivia here and check out the VFX Breakdown, released Tuesday by Framestore, below: