Mark Kolpack Talks Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Working in VFX

As a VFX Supervisor working in television, it often requires the ability to think very quickly due to lack of time and much smaller budgets while still delivering feature level work for television.  On my current show, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., I’m now producing Visual Effects that have to compliment and hold up to its counter part and big brother, the Marvel Cinematic Universe.   That is a tall order when it comes to television, but one that I love since it challenges me to create visuals that push the art and technology farther than previously thought possible.

Agents of Shield 2
The work that we produce is complex in nature and is always evolving.  It ranges from environmental augmentation using matte paintings to digital doubles for our cast members and guest actors to fluid and FX based simulations, as well as our 1964 Corvette named Lola, the C-17 Bus, Quinjet, Deathlok, Nano Copters, and a whole host of one-off based assets.

Agents of SHIELD_Lola
One of the our commonly used techniques is our Digital Doubles.  I began using them back in 2006 on Heroes at a time when this type of asset was limited to feature films. Back then almost everyone thought I was either crazy for trying it or it was just not possible, but that did not stop me.  Well it did work and the relationship that began with Nick Tesi and his team back then is still going strong today.

TNG is my main vendor for my actor scans and they too improve their techniques to help their clients to produce better and more realistic doubles that will hold up to close scrutiny.  TNG understands my schedule and tight turnarounds and gets my cleaned up geo and the textures ready within a few days of actors being scanned.  This is huge to me considering the additional work that then has to go into the models once I get them over to my VFX house. Having this type of partnership is vital for me and TNG pulls it off time and time again.


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