Archive for the ‘WETA Digital’ Category
Will Gollum appear at the end of the third film?
Although the wait is nearly over for the familiar goblins and mystical forests of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, senior visual-effects supervisor Joe Letteri says the only thing that remains the same for this iteration of Peter Jackson’s fantasy films is on the surface. The digital tools that brought countless Orcs to life and gave Gollum his distinctive distorted face are virtually unrecognizable from those used a decade ago for the The Lord of the Rings trilogy.
“It’s changed almost completely,” Letteri says. “On the outside, you want Gollum to look like the same character, but he’s completely different” underneath.
The biggest change from the first set of films is the way that actor Andy Serkis’ performance is captured and analyzed in order to create the digital character, according to visual-effects supervisor Eric Saindon. “Our facial capture has progressed leaps and bounds,” he says. “Now we actually capture all of Andy’s performance, when he’s acting with Martin (Freeman) in Gollum’s cage on set. We have a small camera attached in front of his face that captures his exact facial performance. Rather than an animator going in and doing it frame-by-frame, the computer analyzes Andy’s performance and then fires Gollum’s muscles to do the exact same thing. So the first half of the animation, which is the raw mo-cap data, is really Andy.”
“We know so much more about how the face works,” Letteri adds. “When people communicate face to face there are so many things that are going on that you really have to study now and put into the characters. We hope that people recognize that there’s this extra layer of depth.”
Posted in Andy Serkis, Hobbit Movie, Joe Letteri, Production, The Hobbit, WETA Digital
From Emma Horsley at the Manawatu Standard: Weta Digital approached New Zealands Massey University’s Institute of Veterinary, Animal and Biomedical Sciences equine scientist Dr Chris Rogers and the vets there for advice on how a horse worked from the inside out, so they could construct more believable and realistic computer generated horses for the big screen.
Weta has previously built models by looking at the horses from the outside. The institute has an equine treadmill which was used to collect motion capture images by several camera’s and Massey’s scientists were able to give them an understanding of the structure of the animal. [Read More]
Posted in Hobbit Movie, Lord of the Rings, LotR Movies, Production, The Hobbit, WETA Digital
Weta Digital were among the winners at this years’ Australian Effects & Animation Festival. The AEAF Awards is an international competition and screening, now in its 16th year with entries from around the world. Awards are given for creative and technical excellence in the use of visual effects and animation in the creation of screened work. The winners where announced at the lively AEAF Awards event held at in Sydney at Event Cinemas George St on 24 July.
Weta Digital took home two awards for Feature Films VFX silver medal for The Avengers and best Feature Films – Animation for The Adventures of Tintin.
Posted in Contests, Events, Film Screenings, Other Events, WETA Digital
We all listened to and read Peter Jackson’s words from Comic-Con about three possible “Hobbit,” movies carefully. But we didn’t listen to all the words and we missed a few things.
He told us. He told us — he did.
He said exactly what he meant, he said it plainly and the media and fans (and me) tried to figure out what he meant when he told us in plainness. Monday, Jackson dropped an atomic bomb of news and fandom reacted accordingly.
“The Hobbit,” adapted for the screen from the 300-page, 75-year-old book by J.R.R. Tolkien changed from from two movies to three in the blink of a Facebook post.
More on the words we ignored in a minute. We need to figure out when these films break, what it means for fans and websites and studios and cinema and the director, but lets not rush past the size and scope of this news. Lets not walk around Paris admiring all the cafes and churches without also pausing and noticing the big tower in the center of town.
We witnessed, the last few weeks since Comic-Con, something monumental, unprecedented, unparalleled and a little bit crazy. Jackson (and when we say “Jackson” we always mean the director and Walsh, Boyens and a team of others supporting their vision) is in unchartered territory here. (more…)
Posted in Blu-Ray, Books Publications, Cast Q&A, Character Q&A, Collectibles, Director news, Director Q&A, Headlines, Hobbit Book, Hobbit Movie, Hobbit Movie FAQ, J.R.R. Tolkien, LEGO, Location Q&A, Merchandise, MGM, MrCere in New Zealand, New Line Cinema, Other Merchandise, Peter Jackson, Rumors Spy News, Sideshow Collectibles, Studios, The Hobbit, Toys, Warner Bros., Weta Collectibles, WETA Digital, WETA Workshop
Welcome to our collection of TORn’s hottest topics for the past week. If you’ve fallen behind on what’s happening on the Message Boards, here’s a great way to catch the highlights. Or if you’re new to TORn and want to enjoy some great conversations, just follow the links to some of our most popular discussions. Watch this space as every weekend we will spotlight the most popular buzz on TORn’s Message Boards. Everyone is welcome, so come on in and join in the fun!
Posted in Creations, Crew News, Director news, Fans, Hobbit Cast News, Hobbit Movie, Locations Sets, Peter Jackson, Production, The Hobbit, TheOneRing.net Announcements, TheOneRing.net Community, WETA Digital, WETA Workshop
Today via a special newsletter the artisans at Weta have announced they will be producing many types of collectibles based on Peter Jackson’s adaptation of The Hobbit. According to the newsletter the license covers both films of which The Hobbit is being split into with some of these items being on display at Comic-Con in just a little over a month. Obviously, this is very good news for fans of Middle-earth and we will make sure you get tons of pictures of anything Weta has at Comic-Con.
Read the full newsletter here: Weta Announces The Hobbit Collectibles license
Posted in Collectibles, Collectibles, Hobbit Movie, Merchandise, Shop, The Hobbit, Warner Bros., WETA Cave, Weta Collectibles, WETA Digital, WETA Workshop
The folks at Weta dropped big news on Ringers today with the announcement of their next The Lord of the Rings environment. In their own words they’ve decided to climb the Mount Everest of environments…that’s right fans… we’re going to get a chance to own Barad-Dur, made by those that conceptualized and created it for the trilogy. Over the next few months Weta will be giving us updates on the creation of this massive undertaking, and of course we will pass those updates onto you as they become available. Stay Tuned! Until then check out the latest Weta Newsletter!
Posted in Collectibles, Collectibles, LotR Movies, Merchandise, Movie Fellowship of the Ring, Movie Return of the King, Movie The Two Towers, WETA Cave, Weta Collectibles, WETA Digital, WETA Workshop
“Who now has the strength to stand against the armies of Isengard and Mordor? To stand against the might of Sauron and Saruman and the union of the Two Towers?”
– Saruman to Sauron during The Two Towers
At Comic-Con 2011 the folks at Weta announced and displayed the newest environment to land in our collections. Then on July 31st 2011 this amazing collectible went up for pre-order to those wishing to purchase this collectible. If you were one of the first 400 people to order Orthanc, you would end up with a numbered addition, and a special gold-plated Eye of Sauron pin commemorating the day of sale. Originally, this collectible was named Orthanc Pre-Ruin but Weta and TheOneRing.net teamed up to give it an even cooler name. The winning name chosen by Weta was Orthanc – Black Tower of Isengard. This version of Orthanc shows this place as we see it when Gandalf the Grey arrives to talk with Saruman upon realizing that The One Ring has been found. This memorable moment has been amazingly captured by Weta. Follow after the break for my complete review.
Posted in Collectibles, Collectibles, LotR Movies, Merchandise, Movie Fellowship of the Ring, Movie Return of the King, Movie The Two Towers, Shop, Uncategorized, WETA Cave, Weta Collectibles, WETA Digital, WETA Workshop
What a great year! And things are about to get even more exciting! As we begin 2012 with anticipation that will continue to grow and grow, TORn staffer Justin takes us on a tour of all the events and activities TORn fans participated in during 2011. Read on!
Posted in Barlimans, Blu-Ray, ComicCon, Contests, Conventions, DragonCon, Events, Fans, Film Screenings, Hobbit Movie, Locations Sets, Merchandise, MrCere in New Zealand, New Zealand, NYCC, Other Events, Production, Television, The Hobbit, TheOneRing.net Community, TORn TUESDAYS Live!, Warner Bros., WETA Cave, WETA Digital, WETA Workshop
“Strangers from distant lands. Friends of old. You’ve been summoned here to answer the threat of Mordor. Middle-Earth stands upon the brink of destruction. None can escape it. You will unite or you will fall. Each race is bound to this fate, this one doom. Bring forth the Ring, Frodo.“
-Elrond at the start of the Council of Elrond October 25th, 3018 TA
Rivendell was one of the most demanded places in Middle-Earth to be made into polystone and now the long wait for this to happen as finally come to an end. Now, that it has ended and collectors are starting to receive this item, we are finally seeing why this might be one of the most difficult items ever made representing The Lord of the Rings. The folks at Weta, specifically Daniel Falconer and David Tremont, did an amazing job of capturing all that is special about Rivendell allowing collectors to own a piece of that.
Posted in Collectibles, Collectibles, Lord of the Rings, LotR Movies, Merchandise, Movie Fellowship of the Ring, Movie Return of the King, Movie The Two Towers, Shop, The Hobbit, WETA Cave, Weta Collectibles, WETA Digital, WETA Workshop
MovieWeb has had a chance to discuss ‘The Hobbit‘ with senior effects supervisor Joe Letteri. In the article, Mr. Letteri talks about working with Andy Serkis on ‘Rise of the Planet of the Apes’ and how technology has advanced since we last saw Gollum on the big screen. Specifically, he discusses how the film-makers can now capture Andy’s performance on set or on location, without a follow-up motion capture stage performance. Check out the full article at MovieWeb.com. [Read on]
Posted in Andy Serkis, Hobbit Cast News, Hobbit Movie, Make the Hobbit Happen, Production, Studios, The Hobbit, WETA Digital
Our story so far: Peter Jackson made three Middle-earth movies and people loved them. Now he is making two more and people already love them too. MrCere, Senior Staff, Writer and Photographer at TheOneRing.net (around since 1999) went to NZ to see what he could see. Landed in Queenstown, found lots of LOTR stuff, drove north to see the people of the ring, visited Hobbiton visited Wellington, center of NZ’s cinematic empire, and will soon leave NZ. However, much more content will follow.
I haven’t seen an insect weta before in my travels (until this trip, but not this story) but I have plenty of experience with the folks who run and work at the special effects shop who identify themselves as “wetas”. Several Comic-Cons, (including the 2011 edition in San Diego) lots of emails and various TORn functions have made the crew at Weta Workshop friendly acquaintances if not just plain old friends.
My time in Wellington would need to include a visit of some kind with the very busy people who are working on The Hobbit, but as I have often joked (even though it is at least partially true) Weta’s second best talent is making special effects for movies. What they are really best at is keeping secrets from TheOneRing.net. I had no illusions that anybody was going to tour me around the workshop (I asked anyway, just in case) during the height of The Hobbit production, but they were kind enough to invite me along to a group they were hosting from a cruise ship that included one of our own message board members. (Her identity is her own to reveal.) (more…)
Posted in Collectibles, Crew News, Daniel Falconer, Events, Fans, Hobbit Movie, Locations Sets, LotR Movies, LotR Production, Make Up, Meet Ups, Merchandise, Models, MrCere in New Zealand, Production, Richard Taylor, WETA Cave, Weta Collectibles, WETA Digital, WETA Workshop