Avengers: Age of Ultron brings a whole variety of new, fantastic characters to life, but one of the biggest transformations is how Paul Bettany became The Vision. Make-Up Artist Magazine talked to make-up department heads Jeremy Woodhead and Nik Williams, who explained exactly how they used makeup, prosthetics, and 3-D printed plastic to design the crimson character.
The two explained that there were several challenges in designing The Vision’s unique look, from scanning Bettany’s head to finding the perfect shade of red.
“The red color was actually the hardest to figure out,” Woodhead told Make-Up Artist magazine, “because we didn’t want him to be a bright scarlet, which would look slightly absurd, so we ended up with a color that’s hard to describe. In some light, it looked pink and in others, red; it was like a red cabbage or beetroot color, a purple-pinky red. It was a light-dependent thing, which necessitated a mix of colors and layers, so depending on the light, it would either pick up the red or pink.”
The makeup team also said that in order to convey Vision’s computer origins, they cyber-scanned Bettany’s head and used a 3-D printer to create clear plastic prosthetics, instead of sculpting the prosthetics by hand in clay or plasticine. All in all, it took two hours to get Bettany into full make-up.
“I will admit the pressure was on at the time,” Woodhead said, “because there were millions of people around the world who all had a vested interest in the character, so the responsibility was huge, but the fans seem happy, the critics were happy and Paul was happy, so we appear to have got away with it!”