Making Superman Fly Again in Man of Steel
First they animated the real 3D objects and worked out the blocking and pacing and then that would get turned into the particle version by compressing the Z depth and filling in the shapes. This became the volume of the display. Lighting was an additional challenging because they wanted it to look like a museum diorama so they hid all the lights around the edges.
The result of Man of Steel is modern sci-fi with an emotional hook: the first alien contact story. "There's only one high-speed shot in the whole movie, which was shot on film in Panavision, the dreamy flashback of Clark wearing the cape as a kid on the Kent farm," Desjardin concludes.
He can't wait to continue the Superman saga in the sequel that's already in the works. But that's another story.
Bill Desowitz is former senior editor of AWN and VFXWorld and the owner of Immersed in Movies (www.billdesowitz.com). He's also a columnist for Thompson on Hollywood at Indiewire and contributing editor of Animation Scoop at Indiewire. Desowitz is additionally the author of James Bond Unmasked (www.jamesbondunmasked.com), which chronicles the 50-year evolution of 007 on screen, featuring interviews with all six actors.