<I>Black Adam</I>: Inside Dneg's VFX work
January 16, 2023

Black Adam: Inside Dneg's VFX work

Dwayne Johnson stars in New Line Cinema’s action adventure Black Adam, the first feature film to explore the story of the DC super hero. Directed by Jaume Collet-Serra (Jungle Cruise), the film is set nearly 5,000 years after Black Adam was bestowed with the almighty powers of the ancient gods — and imprisoned just as quickly. Black Adam is finally freed from his earthly tomb and is ready to unleash his unique form of justice on the modern world.

Dneg provided visual effects for the feature, and VFX supervisor Fabricio Baessa recently took some time to answer questions about the studio’s work for Post.

Fabricio, what scenes were Dneg responsible for? 

“Dneg was thrilled to work as a VFX partner on Black Adam, the first-ever feature film to explore the story of the DC super hero on the big screen. Dneg was responsible for the main environment, the throne room, as well as an epic after credits sequence, which has drawn great attention by the fans of the universe and beyond.”

Images courtesy of Dneg © 2022 Warner Bros. Ent. All rights reserved

How many scenes and VFX shots does that add up to?

“Dneg delivered approximately 200 shots across five sequences for the main environment at the height-of-the-action in the film.”

Can you talk about some of the tools that were used to complete the VFX shots?

“The Dneg team used a variety of tools and techniques to ensure the visual effects work was of the best quality possible. This involved lots of 3D sets, set extensions, painting and simulations. Our work also included a mix of photorealistic full digital environments with seamless set extensions, digi-doubles and a variety of FX. 

“From the technical side, models were done in Maya and sculpted when needed in ZBrush. After this step, we sent the finished model to texturing, which was done with a mixture of tools, including Mari and Photoshop. Once this was complete, we had our look development team working in Clarisse to bring our assets and environments to life. All our FX were done in Houdini before being further enhanced and polished in Nuke.”

Images courtesy of Dneg © 2022 Warner Bros. Ent. All rights reserved

What do you feel was the most challenging shot?

“While also the most challenging, the most exciting shot simultaneously was the sequence for the post-credit scene. Spoiler alert: Superman lands in the throne room during this scene! This was extremely difficult to execute while still building on the tension and anticipation of this key moment. I am proud of our entire Black Adam crew and the way we collaborated across the globe to transform ideas into beautiful frames with huge success.”