Morphing is back!*
It might not be the most technically complicated shot in WandaVision, but when this fun morph showing a young Billy and Tommy ‘growing’ into older versions of themselves, I have to say I let out a little shrill.
That’s because the ageing shot harks back to the classic morphs I was obsessed with in the 1990s, which matches the time period in which the episode (#5) featuring the transition occurs.
After seeing the episode, I wanted to know how that morph shot was pulled off and who was behind it, ‘simple’ as it might be. So I asked the show’s visual effects supervisor Tara DeMarco. “We really leaned into ’90s morphs for the look of that,” she said, adding that it was Zoic Studios which tackled the scene.
Zoic visual effects supervisor Tim Hanson advises they received three plates for the shot with which to carry out the morph. “One was a background plate, one was of the younger kids, and then we had the plate for the older kids. We also had to create a number of hair patches to be able to morph while also maintaining hair detail.”
Nuke was used to create the morph, composited by Zoic’s Patrick Kavanaugh. Hanson again runs down how this was achieved.
“The main hurdle in this process was needing to tackle the effect in layers. Because of hairstyle differences and differences in facial landmarks a number of things had to be painted out to make a clean canvas for introducing sections of the older kids faces.”
“Then we had to do a separate morph to introduce these patches in a seamless way,” adds Hanson. “The whole process was pretty intricate, and Tara and the team at Marvel were very helpful in terms of planning the effect out before hand and delivering us some great plates. It was an awesome collaboration, and we were honored to be a part of such an amazing show!”