Shang-Chi FX Artist Talks Redesigning Abomination Ahead of She-Hulk Return



The Incredible Hulk’s Abomination made a surprise appearance in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings ahead of his return in She-Hulk.

It took thirteen years for The Incredible Hulk’s Abomination to return to the MCU with an unexpected appearance in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, but he wasn’t exactly as fans remember him having undergone a design overhaul in the years between. Still played by Tim Roth, Emil Blonsky made his big return in a cage match at Xialing’s underground fight club where he is seen taking on mystic arts sorcerer Wong, and has certainly lost none of his aggression over the years. Dominik Zimmerle of Trixter spoke to Art of VFX about the amazing challenge they were tasked with in bringing an updated version of the character to screens.

“We were incredibly thrilled when we first discussed re-creating Abomination for Shang-Chi,” Zimmerle said. “We saw this character the last time in 2008 and getting the chance to show our take on it was an exciting outlook. We started with Concept Art from Marvel’s Art Department, the original Asset from 2008 and references of the most recent developments on the Hulk. First of all, we started detailing the information we received from the provided Concept Art: we looked for references to what each part of Abomination could look like. For example, what materials should the horn parts have, how will the plates behave under the skin, what about his fins.”

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We already know that the Abomination will be returning in the upcoming She-Hulk series, where he will come up alongside Tatiana Maslany and Mark Ruffalo in the green monster stakes. With that appearance already on the way, the team had to work out how to bring the character back in line with his original comic book appearance before the series got underway, and also had to decide just how much of his new appearance would be based on Roth’s own features.

“We played around with different blending levels between a 3D representation of Tim Roth’s face and the original Abomination until we found something that worked,” said Zimmerle, who has a long history with Marvel having worked on numerous movies including The Avengers, Spider-Man: Homecoming, and Black Widow. “The Associate VFX Supervisor of the first phase of the show and huge Marvel fan Chris Smallfield was significantly involved in this part of the process. I think it was a dream come true for him. We then sculpted a model around this framework and based on Marvel’s feedback, we refined proportions and large-scale shapes until everybody was happy with the anatomy.”

He went on: “We then used all of our reference material to add displacement and bump details and worked on the textures alongside. At the same time, our creature simulation team investigated the best setup for the skin sliding over the subdermal plates, which we see around the biceps and calf areas.”

It is not yet known what part Tim Roth’s character will play when he appears in the self-labeled “legal comedy” series She-Hulk, but with rumors suggesting that the series could be the first of Marvel’s Disney+ offerings to land next year, it shouldn’t be too long before we find out. This information comes to us from Art of VFX.

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Anthony Lund
(1037 Articles Published)

Anthony Lund is an author, songwriter and puppeteer from a small village in the U.K. with an avid love of all genres of TV and film. As well as keeping up with the lastest entertainment news and writing about it for MovieWeb, he works as a video editor, voice over artist and production designer. A child of the 80s, he is the owner of almost 2000 books, more toys than his children, three Warner Bros. Store Gremlins and a production used Howard The Duck movie script.

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