WETA Digital has released a brand new two and a half minute video exclusively to the The Hollywood Reporter detailing the creation of the dragon Smaug. Thanks to Ringers Makaw, Brandon, Will P., and Jesse for notifying us about the video!
The Hollywood Reporter also spoke to Smaug VFX artist David Clayton (who is nominated for an Academy Award for his work on the film) about the process of translating actor Benedict Cumberbatch’s motion capture performance into the fire-breathing creature you see on the screen in The Desolation of Smaug.
“The translation of performance from Benedict to Smaug wasn’t a one-to-one match like you’d get from a humanoid creature. They have very different physiologies,” Clayton explains. “As animators we had to transpose the elements of Benedict’s performance that were critical to the shot, such as head nuances and facial expressions. We then built up the majority of his motion with keyframe animation” –meaning that it was animated by hand.
Click here to read the full article.