HUB Studio: GOMA Marvel Projects

Mobile Mission – Visitors follow mobile clues to seek out ‘intel’ about artifacts from across the Marvel Universe… the mobile app rewards them at the end of each mission with a scene from the film in which the artifacts first appears. As they interact with the Mobile Experience, they are challenged with moral questions such as “In the Marvel Universe temporal manipulations can create branches in time. Would you manipulate time to save lives’? Each answer from every visitor gets processed and an overall ‘balance of power’ is revealed at the end of the adventure. The stability of the universe is either stabalised by your decisions or compromised.

Decoding the Universe – 3 Large Touch-screens and 5 smaller computers will house our interactive Data Simulation of the events and inhabitants of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. This is a very responsive infographic that allows visitors to explore the appearances and attributes of their favourite characters and to discover all of the dynamic connections between them based on their shared powers, skills, artefacts, origins etc We complied the database from several unofficial sources created by Fans… and had official verification by experts at Marvel Studios and Marvel Entertainment. Jeremy Kerr, of IVD, is a local Marvel expert who also helped us verify the data in our database. So this new interactive database includes all of the characters and their attributes from 17 films, 2 of which are yet to be released. So this is a new resource valued very much by both fans and the Marvel executives, as no such official database had existed before.

Hero Mirrors– 3 large installations for visitors to virtually inhabit 4 of the most beloved Marvel characters, Ironman, Hulk, Rocket Racoon and Baby Groot. This work was especially challenging… but so rewarding as we got to have access to the Marvel Studio databases. We got to work with the most complex character models on this planet! This was a thrill and really challenged our way of working… and the tools that we had available to do the work. Ironman alone was made up of 8 million vertices, and we needed a count closer to 60 thousand. So essentially we had to rebuild all of the models from scratch – decimate, rig, and re-texture the models to make them suitable for live action manipulation in our Mirror System.

Written for a GOMA Didactic: The 3D models of the MCU are very complex. Every detail of animated characters and 3D objects are so carefully constructed so they can blend in with the live action content. An MCU character model such as Ironman is made up of points in 3D space, called vertices to form a mesh (his body and armour). This mesh is then connected to a rig (bones/skeleton) that works to mimic how real muscles and joints interact to make the character look like they move naturally. Then textures are applied to the mesh to give details such as coloured skin, metallic suits, raccoon fur and mossy wooden hair. The reason Ironman looks so incredibly real in the MCU is that his armour is made up of over eight million vertices so that an animator is able to control every tiny detail of his movement and seamlessly blend the actions of the actor with the 3D content. This is why it is getting harder and harder to tell the 3D content and the real life content apart in the films of Marvel. The Characters in the mirrors here in GOMA only use a maximum of sixty thousand vertices so that you can interact with them in real-time. Ironman still looks amazing even with only sixty thousand vertices!