Mark Bakowski began his career in visual effects more than 10 years ago. He worked for many studios such as Mill Film, Cinesite and Framestore. He has worked on films like V FOR VENDETTA, CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY, QUANTUM OF SOLACE or PRINCE OF PERSIA: SANDS OF TIME.

What is your background?
I come from a compositing background

How did Framestore get involved on this show?
Work came here fairly late on through Digital Domain.

Can you tell us more about your work with Production VFX Supervisor Christopher Townsend?
He was great, really consistent and reliable. Good sense of humour. If he changed his mind (which was rare) he’d admit it.

What have you done on this show?
The Extremis effect, regeneration, Iron Man, fire and some environment work.

How did you approach the creation of the Extremis effect?
It started off anatomically accurate at first, making deep glows in the body, but it was art directed to taste.

What references and indications did you receive from the production for this effect?
We received some references from Digital Domain and also some x-ray footage.

Can you explain to us step by step the creation of this effect?
Track the character, run sim, sim to lighting, lighting pass combination of utility and lighting passes to comp.

What was the main challenge with this effect?
The eyes.

How did you manage the lighting and the render for this effect?
We made a very standard set of passes which, once we had a formula, were easy to replicate. Getting the formula correct in the first place was harder.

Can you explain to us more about the regeneration of the woman going through the fire?
We had to make sure it wasn’t too gory, which was a tricky thing to balance.

How did you manage the CG fire?
We used Flush, our proprietary version of Naiad.

In one scene Iron Man confronts an Extremis character on a plane. Can you tell us more about your work on this sequence?
We removed the stuntman, added in Iron Man, filled in gs windows added paper and atmos + Extremis

How was you feeling to be part of the Iron Man saga?
Everyone was very excited!

What was the biggest challenge on this project and how did you achieve it?
The eyes for the Extremis shots – done in the end with roto and colour correction!

Was there a shot or a sequence that prevented you from sleep?
No, not really.

What do you keep from this experience?
A good client makes life pleasant

How long have you worked on this film?
4.5 months.

How many shots have you done?
113 final, 178 turned over or worked on.

What was the size of your team?

What is your next project?

What are the four movies that gave you the passion for cinema?

A big thanks for your time.


Framestore: Dedicated page about IRON MAN 3 on Framestore website.

© Vincent Frei – The Art of VFX – 2013


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