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Now on How Iron Man suit was made

The problem, according to Industrial Light & Magic, is that none of the traditional options would work for the movie.

This poster of Iron Man flying is from a scene that mixes computer graphics--the Iron Man character--with real footage of a cloud-filled sky. Daniel Terdiman/CNET

When the visual effects and animation wizards at Industrial Light & Magic started working on Paramount Pictures film Iron Man, their biggest challenge was creating a suit for the title character that was part CGI and part real costumery.

The story is about genius billionaire industrialist Tony Stark, who's also a bit of a jerk and who designs and sells weapons. In the film's opening sequences, Stark is demonstrating one of his weapons and ends up in a scuffle with terrorists that leaves shrapnel lodged near his heart. To make a long story short, Stark ends up making an iron suit that protects him and his wounded organ.

The full-body armor is a technical marvel that allows him to fly, shoot missiles, be impervious to many conventional forms of attack, and more. The problem, according to ILM visual effects supervisor Ben Snow, was that the traditional options for creating a suit like Iron Man's--either making it fully CGI or making it a fully real-life, physical, or "practical," suit--weren't going to work for this film.

Find out how ILM overcame the problems in the full report on