Whoa: 'Dawn of the Planet of the Apes' MoCap Comparison Video

May 20, 2014
Source: Total Film

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

With films like Avatar and The Adventures of Tintin in our past, we've seen some impressive comparisons between motion-capture performance video and the final product completed with visual effects. However, the work on Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, hitting theaters later this summer, is one of the most impressive uses of this technology I've ever seen. No, I haven't seen the film, but this short video released by Fox highlighting the performances of Andy Serkis, Toby Kebbell and some of the other ape performers briefly but impressively shows you how much of the actors' actions and performances inform the final shot.

Here's the impressive Dawn of the Planet of the Apes motion-capture comparison from Total Film:

A growing nation of genetically evolved apes led by Caesar is threatened by a band of human survivors. They reach a fragile peace, but it proves short-lived, as both sides are brought to the brink of a war that will determine who will emerge as Earth's dominant species. Besides Serkis, the apes cast includes Judy Greer as Cornelia & Toby Kebbell as Koba. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is the sequel to Rupert Wyatt's revival of the sci-fi franchise Rise of the Planet of the Apes. Directing is Matt Reeves, of Let Me In and Cloverfield previously, from a script written by Mark Bomback, Scott Z. Burns, Rick Jaffa & Amanda Silver. 20th Century Fox has Dawn of the Planet of the Apes scheduled for a 3D release on July 11th this summer.

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WETA, you magnificent bastard you!!!~

DAVIDPD on May 20, 2014


Amazing work. What else is there left to say?

Sascha Dikiciyan on May 20, 2014


Fantastic. Can not wait for this!

Nathan Williams on May 20, 2014


It's really beautiful and a true work of art what motion capture is. It's a shame the Academy Awards have yet to truly recognize the significance in this type of acting performance. All they see is the CGI creation but not the actor behind the perfomance which is really the true gist behind it all. Andy Serkis deserves a nomination for his role. It's beyond incredible all the hard work someone like him has to go through to get into a character like this. Even all his motion capture co-stars working around him. It takes so much coordination and skill.

DJ Jack Ryan Hardy on May 20, 2014


It takes a lot more work than just one actor to get these CG performances. Andy doesn't quite understand that and in his rush for gold seems to be forgetting this. There is a long debate about Andy's participation. The reality is, give someone else the suit and I am confident they could do the same so unless its a level playing field with other performers competing, its unfair to suggest Andy deserves an Oscar.

Mr Chatterbox on May 20, 2014


The reality is all around it's a method of acting and all methods of acting should be considered. Am tired of the Academy Awards shenanigans, they have made ridiculous choices in the past.

DJ Jack Ryan Hardy on May 20, 2014


im almost entirely sure well more than half the people who read this site, although very knowledgeable and well educated movie buffs, have no idea how an animation pipeline works. Mocap is used in almost every CG commercial and movie because its cheaper than animating from scratch. Never in the history of mocap let alone mocap for feature film has there been a situation where an animator has not cleaned up, improved and in some but not all cases start over from scratch and simply use the mocap info for reference. Mocap can only do so much and when the day comes where mocap is soo accurate during the translation from mocap suit to computer screen that there is no reason for any additional tampering im sure people will start realizing how much people like the ones in this video have to do with the actual final product.

Zac on May 20, 2014


With watching the short film about the cg effects company that went bust a while back and how they got booed off the stage and laughed at by actors for standing up for themselves, it's not surprising that animators and effects people get very little recognition. But I'm sure Andy Serkis is a bit more involved in the process however, with his work on Gollum, he kept trying to work with the mobcap guys to make it better and better. I find it all incredibly fascinating, even some of the stuff built in Processing using xbox kinects to capture motion is great, obviously not on Hollywood level, but fun.

Carpola on May 20, 2014


Read this article with a interview from the Animation Supervisor behind the LoTR trilogy and Andy's actual involvement with Gollum. Truth is, there's a team of highly trained artist behind the mocap animations and movies like this would not be solely possible with just the actor. The animators should get just as much credit for these performances. http://www.cartoonbrew.com/motion-capture/lord-of-the-rings-animation-supervisor-randall-william-cook-speaks-out-on-andy-serkis-99439.html

Roderick on May 21, 2014


Cheers Roderick, the article looks pretty interesting, I'm going to give it a good read, the comments also look worth a look too. I'm with you that there is a whole bunch of guys working incredibly hard behind the scenes of every movie we all watch 'fixing it in post' or in some cases building 96% of a scene.

Carpola on May 21, 2014


What do you expect from a bunch of 80 years old a-holes...

dawko on May 22, 2014


Rotomation. It's what we do best.

Blizzard Lead Animator on May 20, 2014


It's going to take Daniel Day-Lewis or someone of that stature to put on a Mo-Cap suit for the Academy to wake up and take notice... or they will just make another category.

DJROBL on May 21, 2014

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