How we can make Iron Man suits
How are the Iron Man suit scenes filmed?
In Iron man there was a heavy physical suit that they sometimes used, but most of the footage was CGI as the Iron Man suit's proportions are not human. Wikipedia mentions
From here :
[The Iron Man 2 suit] was only half a suit - from the waist down. I think we weighed it in at around 13 pounds. The suit in the first film was about 85 pounds.
In Iron man 2 they built a lightweight partial suit that a person could fit into. If you compare Iron Man in one of the action scenes with the suit that Stark wears during his party, for example, you will see that the party suit is much larger and bulkier. This is because he wears the physical suit during the party scenes (they then switch back to the CGI for the fight).
As you can see, the arms and legs are added later by computer. However, you leave the thicker real torso for these scenes instead of making it thin. After they got it through the magic of computer movies, it looks like this:
On one of the all-CGI suits, see how much thinner the waist is:
From the same article:
The overalls are real for most of these shots.
For the shots where it's not real, they also had the following:
Update for The avengers :
io9.com recently interviewed some of the people at ILM who were working on special effects for The Avengers have worked :
Robert Downey Jr. basically never wears the full Iron Man suit again. This suit is really, really uncomfortable and pinching, says Chu. And whenever you see Iron Man in his armor, it's a CG rendering of Iron Man or a stunt man named Clay. After the first Iron Man movie, Chu says, Downey Jr. saw what they can do with CG versions of the suit. "He knew he didn't have to wear that much of the suit and that would make him a lot more comfortable." There is a partial version called "soccer suit" that he wears in some scenes, such as when he is lying on the floor at the end.
However, there are still cases of him wearing a full version of the suit:
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