How The VFX Behind Dormammu Were Created For ‘Doctor Strange’

Doctor Strange Dormammu

Visual effects played a huge role in Doctor Strange and is the area the film garnered the most praise. In speaking with the VFX supervisor Stephane Ceretti, we learn the fire head was never going to come to fruition at all.

“We didn’t want to do that because it had been done before,” Ceretti said of the fiery head trope. “The whole idea is he’s a character that lives in-between dimensions. He can also take whatever shapes he wants to take. But in order to talk to Strange at the end of the film, he’s taking that shape [and] you can feel all these ripples in his face and all that stuff… these kind of opening windows to other dimensions, and all the reflective qualities of it. We really wanted to add the evocation of that fire, but we didn’t want to do fire so we went for [a] multicolored approach to try and keep the psychedelic [look] of the entire space. [That] was pretty difficult because when you start putting too many colors together it becomes very, very muddy and kind of painterly very fast. We had to find the right balance of colors within the lighting of Benedict when he was on our stage and trying to find the best way to kind of make it all work together, which is actually not very easy.”

While Ceretti views the flaming head as too cliche, I do hope should Dormammu return to earth that we get to see his classic look. Granted, I did like the character’s look in the film as well as the defeat of the villain in the third act.

What do you guys think? Do you agree with Ceretti or do you want Dormammu with his flaming head and all? Let us know in the comments down below!

Source: IGN

Leon Brill

Leon Brill

Leon Brill is a staff writer for Heroic Hollywood, superhero/comic enthusiast, gamer, and film lover.

  • Marquis DC Sade

    Apparently the VFX for Dormammu were created using a potato. How is this any less terrible then the Parallax cloud from GL or the Galactus cloud in FF 2?

    • Levi Everaerts

      Well, for starters, this isn’t a cloud.

      • Lorenzo Ladogana

        … well, it looks like a giant space cloud.

        • Levi Everaerts

          It looks like an extradimensional being beyond our comprehension….because that’s what Dormammu is.

          • Lorenzo Ladogana

            It looks like an extradimensional being that doesn’t look like Dormammu. At all.

          • Levi Everaerts

            Boohoo. This isn’t the comics. Want the comics? Go read those. Sorry we didn’t get Flaming Head Giant, because that totally would’ve looked rad in live-action and stuff.

          • Lorenzo Ladogana

            Are we playing the card “Movie are different than comics?”? Because the problem here is Marvel Studios have created very faithful looks for their characters in the comics, or at least decent reiterpretation. This is a poor designed character, something that maybe Fox will have produced in early 2000.
            The main problem is not that it is not made of fire, it is that it doesn’t have any elements of the original character, who is far more intimidating.
            Why trade something better for something worse? LOL

          • Levi Everaerts

            What other card is there to play? And again, you’re judging it in comparison to its comic book counterpart, instead of on its own merits. Your point is moot. Again, if you want the comics, they’re still there for you to enjoy. Don’t talk about film if you only have comic book knowledge. Why was mostly everyone okay with Zemo not wearing a stupid purple sock over his head? Because it would’ve looked stupid in live-action. Same goes for Dormammu. Giant dude with flaming head looks stupid. Extra-dimensional being with proportions beyond our comprehension? Doesn’t look stupid. Adapting doesn’t mean copying. Adapting means respecting the original while updating it to fit the current media format. This is what Marvel Studios does best and what they’ll always do best. Don’t talk film if you have no knowledge of how filmmaking works.

          • Lorenzo Ladogana

            Oh please, don’t act like you know anything about filmaking. I’ve been studying screenwriting and cinematography for seven years.
            I’ve vast knowledge regarding both the comic books and the movies, that’s why Dormammu’s looks bothers me that much. It is a good character in the movie? Yes, because his scene his very good and his interaction with Strange works. But they choices they made are entirely stylistical. Please, no one will buy that it “would look stupid like a flaming head”, only an idiot would think that. They just tried to avoid references to the hellfire for Dormammu and the Dark Dimension, making them entirely cosmic and more mystical. But the choices they made with Dormammu made him look not only very bad comparing to his comic book counterpart, but making him similar to other poorly designed cosmic villain like Parallax and Galactus. Again, we are talking about Marvel Studios: when they made Thanos, they made it looking exactly like his comic-book counterpart, and that because it is a good looking and badass design. When they choose to change Zemo, they did because they totally reinvented the character.
            But Dormammy? They just found the easy way out with that, not cool. Hope they will not screwed up the design of Nightmare in the future…

        • Axxell

          You can clearly see it’s facial features…How is that any cloud-like?

          • Marquis DC Sade

            You could clearly see the facial features of Parallax in the GL movie, but that didn’t stop people from trashing it. This is a rainbow cloud with eyes, you can have a fair criticism and still like a film.

          • Axxell

            Parallax was LITERALLY a brown cloud…

          • Marquis DC Sade

            He had a face, don’t take my word for it, Google it.

          • Axxell

            I know…I mean he was REALLY a brown cloud. A poorly rendered, turd armed cloud. At least in DS they had the decency not to make Dormammu literally look like flying sh¡t…

          • Napi

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            Tell him to LEAVE to see the magic

          • Axxell

            Too afraid to respond to me yourself? LOL! You’ve been traumatized!

          • Napi

            Hahahaha Do I need to make you LEAVE again? xDxD

          • Axxell

            LOL! What exactly did you achieve by me not having submitted a comment in less than 10 min? I’m still here…Hahahahaaa!!

          • Marquis DC Sade

            Napi when will your “LEAVE” t-shirts be available for sale?

          • Lorenzo Ladogana

            Very good, a cloud with a face. That doesn’t make it better.

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    • Lorenzo Ladogana

      Someone would argue that at least Dormammu actually speaks (in fact, as a character was well used).

      But since is Marvel Studios we are talking about, not 20th Century Fox (especially not 2006 20th Century Fox) the result is rather disappointing.

    • JorEl96

      Dormammu actually had shoulders and a torso and arms and they subtly added some orange lighting around his head to tip their hat to the fire without going into that territory. Far more complex, better rendered and better designed than the likes of parallax and galactus. Dormammu clearly had intelligence in his line delivery and was an imposing nigh un-defeatable villain had it not been for Strange’s quick thinking and the eye of agamotto. He definitely didn’t look like a cloud, he had a body, shifting in the dimensions though it might’ve been. This is especially evident when you watch the IMAX 3D version, you can see far more of him compared the cropped aspect ratio 2D version but in both versions you can clearly see arms, a head and shoulders and an upper torso.