The breakout character of Thor: Ragnarok was not Cate Blanchett's Hela, or Tessa Thompson's Valkyrie. It wasn't even Jeff Goldblum as the Grandmaster.
No, it was director Taika Waititi playing the Kronan warrior known as Korg. But given the character was made of perishable rock, he created a major challenge for the visual effects team. And then Waititi didn't do them any favors in the post production phase.
Visual Effects Supervisor Jake Morrison spoke with ComicBook.com about his work on Thor: Ragnarok, revealing the difficulties in animating Korg.
"I would say the one thing I did learn on this is, once Taika discovered that he could just come up with new punch lines and zingers in the edit suite, was when my life got a lot harder," Morrison said with a laugh.
He revealed working on the Kronan is hard for a few different aspects.
"One is, it's the director. So, you're dealing with an actor who's actually really the director, and then is 100% a visual effect," said Morrison. "And then the second part of that, is you've got to have them form comedy, which as anybody will tell you, I think all actors would, drama is hard, but comedy is significantly harder.
"So, the fact that, that would rest firmly upon the visual effects department shoulders, the fact that we had to make the audience laugh, we had to completely bring them into the story and make them believe the character, even though he's 7'6" rock monster made of 1,300 rocks or whatever that it was. And literally each rock you had to move against each other, but never deformed or look like latex. They're all sort of impossible tasks."
While physical comedy is difficult in it's own right, Morrison admitted it's even rougher when you're dealing with a rock creature in an effects-heavy movie.
"And again, I think it's one of those thing where if we'd failed ... it was almost 2,700 shots in the whole film, which I think weighs in about 98% of the film went through the visual effects department," Morrison said. "It's always these small pieces sort of add up on top of each other, and we were actually aware that if we failed on hopefully the realism, on anything, and popped the audience out of a story, then we basically would have lost them."
Thor: Ragnarok, like the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise, was entirely dependent on visual effects. But the team's ability to incorporate comedy was one of the reasons why the film was so entertainint.
Thor: Ragnarok is now available on Digital HD.