14 photos that show how ‘Avengers: Endgame’ looks without visual effects

The Captain Marvel and Thanos scene from late in

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The Captain Marvel and Thanos scene from late in “Avengers: Endgame” can be seen coming together above from beginning to end in various stages of development.
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Marvel Studios
  • “Avengers: Endgame” is one of five movies competing at the 2020 Oscars for best visual effects.
  • The movie contains nearly 2,500 visual effects shots from VFX houses, including Framestore, Weta Digital, Industrial Light & Magic, and DNEG that were worked on for three years.
  • We rounded up before-and-after images shared with Insider from Disney and from videos released by the three VFX houses and Marvel to show how much work went into creating the highest-grossing movie of all time.
  • A lot of motion capture suits were worn, even in scenes that you think don’t have them.
  • There were also plenty of digital extras added into the climactic fight sequence.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more.

“Endgame” moved forward five years to introduce us to Smart Hulk.

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Here’s how Smart Hulk looks in “Avengers: Endgame.”
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Marvel Studios

When the Hulk was speaking with Ant-Man, Paul Rudd had to keep a straight face.


Mark Ruffalo wore a motion capture suit to film his scenes in the movie.

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Would you be able to keep your composure and act seriously if Ruffalo was in front of you dressed like this?
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Marvel Studios

Read more: 37 things we learned about the making of ‘Avengers: Endgame’ that answer some pivotal questions about the movie


It’s quite delightful to see scenes of Mark Ruffalo in his mo-cap suit next to the regular actors in scenes.

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It looks a lot sillier when you see Ruffalo on the floor with gear on.
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Marvel Studios/Framestore

In this moment by visual effects house Framestore, Tony, Natasha, and Bruce are trying to figure out the most efficient times to travel back to the past to retrieve Infinity stones.


Even simple scenes where Hawkeye and the Avengers were seen wearing suits had heavy visual effects.

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It really looks like Jeremy Renner is wearing a suit in this scene.
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Framestore

Jeremy Renner wasn’t actually wearing that white suit to travel back in time.


Renner wasn’t really wearing a suit! It’s fake.

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Framestore worked on characters and certain sequences in “Endgame” to bring them to life.
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Framestore

Instead, Renner wore a motion capture suit that was replaced with the suit we saw in the final film. Framestore worked on over 300 shots of VFX for the film in total.


A lot of the suits seen in the movie were added with visual effects.

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The other actors weren’t necessarily wearing motion-capture suits. They had on versions of their hero suits.
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Marvel Studios/Framestore

When the heroes did their valiant walk together before they went back in time, some of them were actually wearing versions of their usual hero costumes. The special white Avengers costumes came later.


When Captain America was fighting his younger self, they weren’t really fighting on a bridge.

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The scene made it look like the two were high up in a skyscraper. That New York City fight took place on the ground.
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Marvel Studios

Chris Evans was fighting against a stunt double.

Read more: How Howard the Duck ended up in a nearly blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moment in ‘Avengers: Endgame’


Evans and a stunt double fought in a large room surrounded by green screens.

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Not exactly a bridge.
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Marvel Studios/DNEG

VFX house DNEG put together the fight sequence.


You probably think the visual effects in this scene are just limited to space and Captain Marvel’s suit, but that’s not the case.

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DNEG also worked on this sequence for “Endgame.”
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Marvel Studios/DNEG

Can you guess which unexpected part of the above image is a visual effect?


We weren’t even looking at Captain Marvel’s real hair.

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Brie Larson was also strapped in.
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Marvel Studios/DNEG

Brie Larson had a cap on to tuck away her real hair.


Heroes returned through tens of portals for the big climatic battle.

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Here’s how the final scene in the movie looked.
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Marvel Studios

The scene showed thousands of heroes and villains getting ready to do battle.


All of the portals were created using special effects.

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Here’s an earlier progression image that shows some of the work that went into creating the many portals that brought our heroes onto one battlefield.
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Marvel Studios

In addition, most of that army you’re looking at is digital.


When the heroes storm towards the enemy in a powerful moment…

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Captain America yelled out, “Avengers, assemble,” as they raced toward Thanos and his army.
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Marvel Studios

Anyone who’s flying and many of the background people were added after the fact.


… there weren’t nearly as many people running.

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Only a handful of people were actually running in that moment when the Avengers assembled.
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Marvel Studios

The VFX team told Insider there are upwards of 10,000 people and aliens on the battlefield in the scene.

According to a video released by Marvel Entertainment in August, Marvel VFX supervisor Dan DeeLeeuw estimated the heroes were only charging about six people.


Characters like Scarlett Witch, Doctor Strange, Valkyrie, and Spider-Man were added in later.

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This is what the scene looked like as it was coming together.
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Marvel Studios

Above is a progression image of the scene in progress.


Any time you saw Valkyrie riding on the pegasus, she really was on a contraption.

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The pegasus was added to the scene later.
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Marvel Studios

Actress Tessa Thompson had something to hold onto while flying in the skies.


It just didn’t look like a flying horse.

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Scarlett Witch and Valkyrie had wires and a stand-in while filming the battle.
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Marvel Studios

A few extras were needed in the background to help move it around. Elizabeth Olsen’s Scarlett Witch, meanwhile, needed some wires to help her fly.


When Scarlett Witch rose high up into the sky to confront Thanos…

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Scarlett Witch wanted revenge on Thanos for killing Vision.
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Marvel Studios

Read more: 65 details and Marvel references you may have missed while watching “Avengers: Endgame.”


… not only was she on wires, but there was someone there to make sure she was OK.

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A person is seen behind Elizabeth Olsen while filming.
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Marvel Studios

We’ll see more of Scarlett Witch on the upcoming Disney Plus series “WandaVision.”


Drax wasn’t really stabbing an alien.

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Drax references a moment from early in “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.”
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Marvel Studios/Weta Digital

He was really lifted off the ground though.


Dave Bautista was on a giant green item propped up by a man in a green suit.

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Bautista really was stabbing something. It was just an alien object.
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Marvel Studios/Weta Digital

Bautista did really have a little knife, but as you can see, the pointed end was removed.


When Captain America dove at Thanos, he wasn’t really leaping at Josh Brolin.

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Captain America briefly thinks he has Thanos right where he wants him. That’s short-lived.
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Marvel Studios/Weta Digital

Chris Evans was in the suit, but we’re not looking at Thanos himself.


He was diving at another man in a motion-capture suit.

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That’s not Josh Brolin.
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Marvel Studios/Weta Digital

Read more: The battlefield at the end of ‘Avengers: Endgame’ was actually too small. Here’s how the VFX team made it work so viewers didn’t notice.


The same goes for when Brie Larson fought Thanos to get the gauntlet off of his hand.

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Brie Larson was one of the few heroes powerful enough to nearly take down Thanos on her own.
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Marvel Studios

Brie Larson was really in this shot and in her Captain Marvel suit.


A double stood in for Josh Brolin right here with a bodysuit on.

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The two were on a dirt ground, but green walls surrounded them.
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Marvel Studios

Read more: 32 times ‘Avengers’ stars have costarred outside of the Marvel Universe