An enormous number of people contributed to the VFX extravaganza director Jon Favreau serves up in 'Iron Man 2.' For this story, we talked with two visual effects houses that worked on the film: New York City-based Perception and Venice, California-based Pixel Liberation Front (PLF). Both explained how they used MAXON’s CINEMA 4D and After Effects to create some of the techy gadgets and other visual effects that made Tony Stark’s (Robert Downey Jr.) visual world feel futuristic yet believably realistic at the same time. Perception’s involvement with 'Iron Man 2' began during principal photography when Marvel Studios asked them to deliver a fully animated video sequence. Projected on a 70-foot screen, the video plays in the background as Tony Stark gives the keynote address at the Stark Expo, which the genius billionaire hosts to celebrate Iron Man’s triumph over evil in the world. To create the transitions between different parts of the video artists built a metal sheet in C4D and animated the squares to rotate in different ways.

The video made clear Perception’s intrinsic understanding of Stark’s world and Marvel quickly asked them to take on a bigger role in the film. “It was a dream project,” says Danny Gonzalez, Perception’s founder and creative director along with Jeremy Lasky. “Number one, it’s Marvel, and number two, it’s one of the biggest movies they’ve done to date.”

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