Captain America: Winter Soldier

[Marvel Studios]

2014 Academy Award® Nomination for Best Achievement in Visual Effects

ILM was charged with creating the Falcon, reimagined Helicarriers, S.H.I.E.L.D. Headquarters, and the epic third-act battle. Joe and Anthony Russo were clear from the beginning that everything needed to be grounded in reality.

Although there were flying Helicarriers and superhuman action taking place, everything needed to feel as if it really could exist. This forced ILM to really think through the design and implementation of every element, no matter how small.


Director: Joe and Anthony Russo
ILM Visual Effects Supervisor: Russell Earl
ILM Animation Supervisor: Steve Rawlins
ILM Visual Effects Producer: Jeanie King
ILM Studios: San Francisco, Vancouver

Case Study

Captain America: Winter Soldier

Release Date: April 4, 2014

For this installment in the Captain America franchise, ILM was tasked with reimagining S.H.I.E.L.D.’s Washington D.C. headquarters, the Triskelion, creating the most advanced and complex version of the Helicarrier – a model previously seen extensively in The Avengers, a digital Falcon and an epic battle where all three massive carriers are destroyed in the film’s climactic end battle.

Due to the complexity of the destruction sequence, each file added up to almost 3.8 terabytes of data. To achieve the Russo Brothers’ vision for the air-to-air battle, ILM artists created a virtual Washington D.C. environment. The fully CG environment allowed for believable aerial cinematography to be achieved which would have been impossible otherwise due to airspace restrictions in the nation’s capital.