This project actually started off as an experiment in viral videos. I was at the studio WILL & TALE and we set out to try creating a video that would attract as many views as possible. We decided to create something 'Superman' related, to take advantage of the built in fanbase, as well as the building hype surrounding the upcoming 'Man of Steel' film at the time. Over the past couple years, a number of different fan title sequences showed up on the internet (eg. Adventures of Tin Tin, X-Men: First Class, The Walking Dead) They were each fairly successful so we decided to take that approach. Not wanting to rely on any existing Man of Steel footage or photographs, we created everything from scratch, including a 3D suit, an animated logo and a Daily Planet cityscape.
We used a basic 3D male torso and created the suit texture and emblem based on existing photographs taken by paparazzi. To some extent, since we were several months from the film's release, we were making educated guesses on how everything looked, and trying to make everything look as good as possible.
We combined 3D buildings with actual city photography, both for lighting reference and in order to add a sense realism to the city shots. We also swapped out the sky in order to create the most dramatic scene.
The footage of the flaming building was actually our office building that was shot handheld on an iPhone. After tracking the footage, smoke and fire effects were added, as well as a 3D animated falling guy, and a 3D superman swooping to his rescue.
We knew the film was going to take a very realistic approach, so the angle we took for the title sequence was a play on viral videos and phenomenona. We imagined how today's world would react to the incredible discovery of Superman. This led to the inclusion of modern cultural references, like YouTube, CNN and Mashable.
We had a number of sports trophies custom made to fit into the Clark Kent 'Smallville' story and brought in Ross Ching to help shoot some of the close ups. These were all shot right in our office.