How 3 Crucial Scenes from Apes Were Made

Weta Digital breaks down three dramatic moments from VFX Oscar contender Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.

1. One of the most gripping moments occurs when Toby Kebbell’s Koba slyly disarms two drunken humans before shockingly gunning them down. “Matt [Reeves] and Toby were able to work the scene in a way that was different from how it appeared on the page and come up with that performance,” says four-time Oscar winner Joe Letteri. “We were able to capture that and work through the translation and made that scene come alive. Toby added subtle details in getting on their good side before taking advantage of them and killing them. It’s a really street kind of thing that happens. And so it had that spontaneity that we didn’t have to worry about. We let them develop the drama and the animators came in took over.”

3. In the thrilling climax, Andy Serkis’ Caesar fights Koba on the tower of an unfinished skyscraper — a concrete jungle. “We had to figure out the beats of the action with the help of a fight coordinator as well as the environment,” VFX supervisor Dan Lemmon explains. “It didn’t get nailed until after finishing principal photography. The art department designed a tower schematic and we did previs. Then we took it to LA for a new mocap session with Matt and Andy and Toby. Then we placed that action in the digital environment and they had a separate performance capture session just for the cameras. It was all virtual and we played up the vertical nature of the composition by letting the two characters hang and swing from the precarious skeletal structure.”

Read the rest at TOH/Indiewire.

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in 3-D, Animation, Below the Line, Clips, Movies, Oscar, performance capture, previs, Tech, VFX, Virtual Production

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