Starlight in The Boys, using her powers to light up her surroundings with sparks

The Boys Season 1

Proof that impressive superhero-level visuals aren’t just for the big screen, Amazon Prime Video’s The Boys features work by Framestore. The Boys is based on the comics by Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson and has been developed for television by Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg and Eric Kripke. 

Effects Simulation
Visual Effects Supervisor

Framestore has been responsible for putting some of cinema’s biggest heroes on the big screen so when it came to bringing the comic book series’ line-up of characters and their powers to life, Amazon Prime Video was in safe hands with Framestore’s artists. The creative studio worked with the series’ Production VFX Supervisor Stephan Fleet on VFX work that’s featured in several key sequences in both the series’ pilot and finale and features a wide scope of effects. 

For the series’ opening scene, Framestore created a digi-double of Queen Maeve, a member of the series’ famous ‘Seven’ superhero group as she leaps over a car crash of several digitally-replaced police vehicles and stops a hi-jacked bank truck with her body. As Queen Maeve tears through the armoured vehicle, the VFX team needed to add some incredibly detailed debris that flies through the air in super slow motion.

actress dominique mcelligott as character maggie shaw shouting in front of a truck
a truck crashing into actress dominique mcelligott as character maggie shaw

‘While they are about superheroes, Ennis and Robertson’s graphic novels are much more grounded in reality than the high-concept superheroes we’re used to seeing adapted for the big screen. With that in mind, we wanted our effects to reflect that by being more believable and having a certain level of realism to them,’ said Pedro Sabrosa, VFX Supervisor at Framestore. ‘The big challenge in this sequence was adding CG elements to live action footage shot at a high frame rate because you don’t have anywhere to hide; our work needed to be flawless.’ 

Here's a breakdown of how that sequence's VFX work came together: 

side view close up of queen maeve

Framestore also delivered effects for a key fight sequence featuring the superpowers of Starlight, a hero with the ability to shoot blinding light from her hands. The nature of this power meant that it could only be realised using VFX and in designing it, Sabrosa and his team went through several stages of complicated visualisation which also included enlisting the talents of Framestore’s art department to help bring the power to life. 

‘The biggest challenge with visualising Starlight’s powers on-screen was realising the impact it had on the wider environment, something that saw the team needing to re-light large portions of the scene,’ added Pedro. ‘This sequence again featured lots of slow motion shots for which the team needed to strike a balance between creating realistic in-scene lighting and producing something that had a good-looking aesthetic.'

Here's how that scene came together. 

actor erin moriarty as annie january character holding arms up with whitened eyes as light surrounds her

‘The high-quality of content available on streaming services like Amazon Prime Video means our television team is continually delivering sequences that wouldn’t be out of place in big-budget films,’ said Christopher Gray, Executive Producer for Television at Framestore. 'This is an important area for Framestore and one that’s exciting to be at the heart of as the department continues to deliver the highest-quality effects to some of the biggest names in episodic programming.’

back view of actor laz alonso as character mother's milk standing in front of actress erin moriarty as character annie january as annie january shoots out light from her hands with whitened eyes and sparks around her
actor laz alonso as character mother's milk looking at actress erin moriarty as character annie january. sparks surround them


Amazon Studios
Production Company
Sony Pictures Television
Dan Trachtenberg, Erik Kripke
Visual Effects Supervisors
Pedro Sabrosa, Martin Davidson
CG Coordinators
Molly Collins, Emma Hughes
CG Artists
David Cattermole, Stephen New, Henrique Campanha, Aaron Hunwick, Bruno Reis Coimbra, Michael John, Tim Gregson, Marnie Pitts, Leo Schreiber, Alex Jeremy, Gianmarco Colalongo, Mary Doyle, Mohit Varde
2D Artists
Saruta Pisanwalerd, Sherrine Byfield, Tim Pruce, Suzanne Jandu, Tri Do, Simon Kilroe, Robert Evans, Richard Baillie, Kane Herd
VFX Supervisor
Stephan Fleet
Visual Effects Producers
Christopher Gray, Maximilian McNair MacEwan
Lead Artists
Beau Garcia, Owen Braekke-Carroll, Martin Davison, Adam Smith
CG Artists
Richard Baillie, Robert Evans, Sherrine Byfield, Teo Barrault, Thanos Topouzis, Tim Gregson
VFX Editors
Richard Gao, Jack Hubbard, James Wong, Rob Jewell
Visual Effects Producer
Phillip Hoffman
Visual Effects
Line Producer
Agnes Toomus, Alexia Paterson
Daniel Bielawski, Jed Fisher, Ashley Reemul, Joseph Kane
FX Artists
Gabriela Ruch Salmeron, Andrea Lazzarini, Hernan Llano, Mala Lal, Martin Aufinger, Valerio Di Napoli, Marcus Duprat, Anton Nazareth
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