Ant-Man and the Wasp: VFX inspiration as buzzed-about film flies to #1

Two-time Oscar nominated Marvel Studios VFX Supervisor Stephane Ceretti described inspiration for the visuals for Ant-Man and the Wasp at our Digital LA – VFX Q&A on Opening Friday at the Chinese Theatre IMAX in Hollywood.

Ant-Man and the Wasp is Marvel Studios 20th film to rank #1 at the box office its opening weekend, an unprecedented success rate in the history of Hollywood. The film opened with $76M domestic opening weekend.

Critics and fans love the visual effects from the eerie Quantum Realm, to growing and shrinking characters, to Anton the ant playing the drums.

Marvel VFX Supervisor Stephane Ceretti discussed the visual effects of Ant-Man and the Wasp at our Q&A, held immediately after the Opening Friday 7pm screening, in the Chinese Theatre IMAX where the film premiered. Our founder Kevin Winston moderated the Q&A, with the attendees who had just seen the film.

The Ant-Man and the Wasp visual effects started with the VFX of the first Ant-Man as a springboard to showing more especially more of the mysterious Quantum Realm.

Stephane has experience showing other dimensional worlds. He did the much-praised VFX for the Dark Dimension and other effects Doctor Strange, for which he and his team received an Oscar nomination.

Stephane also was Oscar-nominated for VFX of Guardians of the Galaxy. In addition. he has worked on several superhero and other films including Thor: The Dark World, the first Captain America, X-Men: First Class, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Batman Begins and two Matrix films.

For Ant-Man and the Wasp, the Quantum Realm was inspired by the first film, and the drawings of comic book illustrator Steve Ditko.

Ditko co-created Spider-Man with Stan Lee, drew on Doctor Strange, and did a lot of early Marvel illustrations of other dimensions. News of Ditko’s recent passing were announced the day of the screening.

Using the first film and Ditko’s drawings as inspiration, the film then added a pulsing element to the Quantum Realm, to emulate the Ghost character’s phasing ability.

Stephane described the fun part and challenging part of working on the film.

He said it was fun to play around with Ant-Man’s different sizes in the films, with much comedic effect in the film. Ant-Man shrinks to ant-size to ride and at, and grows to more than 60 feet tall.

He said the challenging aspect was timing. He coordinate more than 1,750 VFX shots created by more than a dozen studios in less than six months.

The VFX companies that worked on the film include: LA-based Luma, Method Studios, Lola, Third Floor for pre-vis, as well as Scalene, ILM VFX, Dneg, Rodeo, Cineaste, Crafty Apes, Exceptional Minds and Clear Angle Studios.

More than a dozen VFX companies worked on the film, from the Quantum Realm, to Ant-Man and the Wasp shrinking and flying, to water effects, 3D and the title sequences and two end-tags.

Stephane said that director Peyton is great to work with, both very driven, and very collaborative.

He said that Peyton even had the idea for the Matchbox case, which he had when he was a kid.

Stephane looks forward to his next project at Marvel.