The Russo Brothers made Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame back to back. This is a pretty impressive feat that was made possible thanks to a lot of CGI. Marvel Studios special effects producer Jen Underdahl talks about the extensive use of CGI in a new VFX behind-the-scenes documentary for Endgame. With a release date already set in stone, the cast and crew had to work really hard to make sure they met their deadline, which is even more mind blowing when one thinks of how massive the cast and crew were to make the movie.
Principal photography had already started when the final designs for the time suits were delivered. This isn't usually how most projects work, but on a movie as big as Avengers: Endgame, you do what you can in order for it to look as good as it possibly can in the shortest amount of time possible. Jen Underdahl had this to say about creating the time suits for the movie.
"The time suits are a combination of Ant-Man, Tony Stark, and Guardians tech. That took quite a while for us to land on. By the time we got a final version, we were already in principal photography. We knew we were going to build them anyway, since they had to 'nano' on and off with Tony's tech, and it ended up being that the costume department didn't have time to develop, fit, and fabricate all the costumes for those hero characters, so we ended up doing them digitally."
Digital costumes are nothing new to the world of making movies. Iron Man's suit is almost always 100% digital. The same can be said about Spider-Man and Black Panther. Thankfully, the technology has gotten a lot better with each passing year to where the suits look like the real deal. With that being said, the Avengers: Endgame crew ran into trouble again when it was time to shoot the scenes with Brie Larson's Captain Marvel. Jen Underdahl explains.
"Her suit, every time you see it in the movie, when she's in her full costume, is digital. Again, the designs for those suits were not ready in time for us to photograph Brie. When you saw her at the beginning, as she's rescuing Tony Stark, when you see her come back, when she's talking to Nat in the Avengers compound, with Rocket and Nebula, and then in the final battle when she comes back and kind of saves the day, that's all the digital suit."
Marvel Studios does not cut corners when they put out anything under the Marvel Cinematic Universe banner. Instead, they find the best people and pair them with the best technology has to offer to accomplish a goal in a timely manner. There are huge teams of people that contribute to the VFX of a Marvel Studios production and not a lot gets past them, which is pretty amazing. There will always be little mistakes here and there, but those are all considered part of the fun these days.
With CGI technology only getting better, we will more than likely see a lot more costumes in the MCU go the digital route. It gives the designers more time to work and cuts down on having to do fittings with actors and actually producing a physical costume. Another thing to take into consideration is that most Marvel productions aren't as rushed as Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame were, so we'll see more practical effects in use too. You can watch the VFX documentary below, thanks to the Wired YouTube channel.