4 things you should know about the VFX behind Mechagodzilla

How Scanline VFX made the giant robot for ‘Godzilla vs. Kong’.

Here at befores & afters, we talked previously to Scanline’s Godzilla vs. Kong visual effects supervisor Bryan Hirota about the ocean battle between the two creatures.

Now we have a quick follow-up where Hirota outlines some of the challenges of bringing Mechagodzilla to life, with some step-by-step VFX breakdown images. Check it out below.

1. The CG model

There was an approved model from the art department that consisted of Mechagodzilla in a static pose that was considered the approved design. But that model couldn’t move in the sense that if you actually posed it around all of its joints, they would interpenetrate itself. And he had none of the weapons that he ended up having—none of the rockets, or the drill, or the jet packs. So we spent a bunch of time when we inherited the model, creating these.

2. Everything functioned

Any of his joints, say around the elbows or knees, there were panels that would slide open and create spaces for the joints to actually function. We re-designed the feet and the ankles with additional hardware and pistons. If you look at all of the articulation, we made it function.

3. Mecha’s own atomic breath

The Mechagodzilla atomic breath—the whole laser device in the throat—we developed and added that, and the eyes. We kept revisiting his eyes. We designed out all those LEDs and things inside the eyeball to give it some structure.

4. He’s kind of an asshole…

The goal with Mechagodzilla is that he needed to be like a real asshole and just beat the hell out of Godzilla, to give a satisfying conclusion to the third act. Every major revision of it just amped up both the beating that Mecha got or gave to Godzilla. I’m very happy that, in the end, Kong got to rip his head off.