It's impossible to watch The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and not be in awe of its top-notch special effects, thanks to the team at Sony Imageworks. But Spider-Man is more than Peter Parker swinging around New York City in spandex. This entry introduced three iconic villains - Electro, Rhino, and the Green Goblin - that each had strong performances enhanced by digital effects.
Visual Effects Supervisor Jerome Chen, Animation Supervisor David Schaub, and Digital FX Supervisor David Smith all pointed out the importance of physics, from Rhino running in a mechanized suit to Gwen Stacy falling in a clock tower, when I sat down with them at Sony Imageworks. They also had to deal in supernatural hypotheticals. Electro, for example, had multiple layers to his skin to create a storm within his body that changes depending on his mood. Not only that, he had to believably dematerialize and reappear at will. Jerome Chen and David Smith cited neurological pathways, outer space, and sea creatures as inspiration for his movements, as well as the coalescence of ionized gases. David Smith explains the process in this exclusive video:
Sometimes it's easy to forget how far we've come with special effects and how they make movies like [The Amazing Spider-Man 2](movie:508593) possible. The shots that Sony Imageworks managed to create blended fantasy and reality to an incredible degree and made me that much more excited for what they're able to do in a [Sinister Six](movie:1274281) movie.