Watch: Benedict Cumberbatch Does Dragon MoCap for 'The Hobbit'
by Ethan Anderton
February 25, 2014
We have just one more chapter in Peter Jackson's trilogy adaptation of The Hobbit, and if you missed the second installment, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, you can catch the film on Blu-Ray and DVD on April 8th. But for everyone else who saw the film (and the fun cameo featuring J.R.R. Tolkien fanatic Stephen Colbert), we've got a cool featurette from David Clayton and the rest of the Academy Award nominated visual effects team at Weta Digital showing us how a combination of a motion capture performance from Benedict Cumberbatch and animators brought the dragon Smaug to life. Watch now!
Here's the featurettes on the work Weta Digital did in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug via THR:
In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit… J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit, being directed by Peter Jackson as three separate movies, is set in Middle-Earth 60 years before Tolkien's Lord of the Rings, which Jackson and his filmmaking team brought to the big screen in a trilogy ten years ago. The films, with screenplays by Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, Guillermo del Toro and Peter Jackson, were shot consecutively in digital 3D using the latest cameras. The Hobbit follows the journey of Bilbo Baggins, played by Martin Freeman, who is swept into an epic quest to reclaim the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor, which was long ago conquered by the dragon Smaug. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug hits Blu-Ray & DVD early this spring on April 8th.
"We then built up the majority of his motion with keyframe animation" --meaning that it was animated by hand." Poor animators, they do all the heavy lifting, but Mo-cap suit still gets the headline.
Dan Hibiki on Feb 25, 2014
Shame Desolation was just another mediocre movie...
dawko on Feb 25, 2014
Love that stuff. Very interesting. Wish there was more video of Benedict Cumberbatch doing motion capture. I'd love to get a better sense of how his performance translated into the final product.
Quanah on Feb 25, 2014
A5J4DX on Feb 25, 2014
He looks like he having so much fun. I love his expressions.
DAVIDPD on Feb 25, 2014
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