Avengers: Infinity War VFX supervisor Dan DeLeeuw says his team determined it was the Power Stone that dusted half of all life in the universe following Thanos’ (Josh Brolin) snap.
“The Power Stone was blipping them out of existence,” DeLeeuw told Inverse. According to DeLeeuw, his team developed an early version of the “blip out” that involved all six multi-color Infinity Stones being utilized to initiate the “snappening.”
“All the Infinity Stones have their signature color and appearance as a visual effect,” DeLeeuw said. “So the ‘blip out,’ we thought, ‘What would all the stones do to a person, blipping them out?’”
The VFX artists mulled over the Reality Stone and the Soul Stone — “Because souls cease to exist?” he asked — before the Power Stone was selected for simplicity’s sake.
“We had concept art combining all those things, and it was getting too busy,” he explained. “It became too complicated. It was stepping on what the actors were doing. So it became ‘body turns to ash.’ We peeled away all those layers and focused on that one [Power Stone], deciding how quickly it would consume someone, what pattern it would consume them.”
Another alternate version, he added, involved “this nimbus of energy or soul that is left behind” that “fades away.”
The ‘fading into ash’ effect ultimately resembles the ‘breaking-apart’ effect seen in Guardians of the Galaxy, the first film to involve the Power Stone, which at one point nearly obliterates Star-Lord (Chris Pratt) in a purple haze.
The determined Mad Titan Thanos embarked on an obsessive mission to assemble all six Infinity Stones — Power, Soul, Reality, Time, Mind, and Space — to wield their power through the Infinity Gauntlet, granting him the ability to obliterate exactly half of the Marvel Cinematic Universe with a simple snap of the fingers.4comments
Thanos finally pulled off the feat after a scrap with one-half of the Avengers on Titan and the other half in Wakanda, subsequently turning heroes like Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) and Spider-Man (Tom Holland) to ashes. The now-iconic disintegration effect has since emerged as a popular internet meme, which DeLeeuw said he thinks is “hilarious.”
Avengers: Infinity War is now available to own digitally ahead of its August 14 debut on Ultra HD, Blu-ray and DVD.