Superman’s mustache gets a digital shaving for ‘Justice League’

/ 05:36 PM July 31, 2017

With extended reshoots for DC’s blockbuster “Justice League”, both the studio and the actors have been making compromises to meet deadlines.

Among those caught in scheduling struggles is Henry Cavill, who is starring in “Mission Impossible 6” and also has to attend shoots as Superman.


Henry Cavill, Superman

Image: Screen grab via Instagram/@henrycavill

However, his role in the next “MI” requires facial hair, and Paramount isn’t allowing him to shave it off. Thankfully there’s CGI, but it is still tasking for the visual effects (VFX) team, which has to give him a clean-shaven look.


VFX artists need to work for weeks to make sure Superman is still clean-shaven while he saves the world. Image: Warner Bros.

VFX artists described the process in a Business Insider interview, stating that it’s a common practice because of overlapping projects.


According to Dave Fleet, head of 3D for studio The Mill, the effects required isn’t simply about removing hair. The actor’s face needs to be “digitally re-built” underneath where the hair is.

“We would need to build a 3D model of the face and then shade the surface of the skin to look realistic,” explained Fleet.

This 3D model then needs to be tracked with the movement of the actor’s head, while re-animating the lips may be necessary.

“The amount of lip animation would depend on how much of the original beard occluded his lips. We would need to paint out the parts of the beard that extend beyond his shaven face,” he explained.

This tedious process would take at least six weeks. “One week just to make the 3D elements; then another three weeks to track, animate, and render the shaven face; and another two weeks to composite it all together.”

Let’s hope reshoots finish soon so that VFX artists can get to work. In just a few months, the movie premieres on November 16 in Philippine cinemas. Niña V. Guno/JB



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TAGS: Henry Cavill, Justice League, Mission Impossible 6, Superman, VFX, visual effects
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