Watch the VFX Magic Behind the Battle Between T’Challa and Killmonger in Black Panther

A new VFX reel reveals the way in which human performance and technology intersect in Black Panther. Isn’t that really what Wakanda is all about? Shuri (Letitia Wright) designed the amazing vibranium powered suits to be responsive to the wearer’s every need. Turns out that’s what the VFX artists are doing in real life. DNEG peels back the digital curtain on the incredible work they did in that climactic fight scene between T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) and Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan). If you haven’t seen Black Panther yet, you need to stop reading and go fix that. The video reveals a major scene.

One of the most impressive aspects to modern VFX is the credibility. The moments that are visually enhanced are nearly indistinguishable from the live performance. Obviously, a lot of the action defies physics. Yet, there are so many filming techniques, it is difficult to know what is a choreographed stunt and what is digital VFX. In this instance, the entire opening sequence is digitally drawn then transitions flawlessly to the live action. It’s amazing how well the fidelity match.

As the scene progresses, we get to see how Boseman and Jordan actually performed the sequence in motion capture suits. T’Challa sliding across the train railing is one of the most iconic moments in the film and the logistics behind it is brilliant. The production team actually designed a platform that slides the actor across the frame.

Because Boseman and Jordan were in motion capture suits, the VFX team faced the challenge of drawing in their suits that the amazing Ruth E. Carter designed. We dare you to find a difference between the scenes when the actors are wearing the real deal. Wakandan technology is obviously more advanced than our Earth capabilities, so the artists have gone to painstaking lengths to portray the moments when Killmonger’s suit starts to glitch.

Black Panther | VFX Breakdown | DNEG from DNEG on Vimeo.

If you don’t want to see how the scene resolves, you can stop there and won’t miss too much of the artistry. Overall, this is a major undertaking that delivers one of the most intimate and impressive climaxes in the MCU.

Featured Image: Marvel Studios’ BLACK PANTHER..L to R: T’Challa/Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) and Erik Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan)..Ph: Film Frame..©Marvel Studios 2018


Kelle Long

Kelle has written about film and TV for The Credits since 2016. Follow her on Twitter @molaitdc for interviews with really cool film and TV artists and only occasional outbursts about Broadway, tennis, and country music. Please no talking or texting during the movie. Unless it is a musical, then sing along loudly.