Describing a scene in which Owen Grady (Chris Pratt) releases the genetically-engineered velociraptor Blue from her harness, Image Engine visual effects supervisor Martyn Culpitt describes the attention to detail required to ensure close interaction between the human and digital performers:
“There was a gray-shaded raptor maquette with a harness on it in the plate, and we replaced that with our animated raptor. Our biggest challenge was creating the very subtle interaction between the raptor and Chris Pratt, especially in closeups, which had to show Blue’s connection to Chris Pratt’s character. We were always pointed toward nature reference of real animals in creating raptor facial expressions.
“The difficult thing with the anatomy of the raptor’s head is that there is a lot of bone above its eyebrow line and along the snout – so all of that had to remain rigid. What we could move was the soft tissue around the edges of the mouth and eyes. We could make the nostrils flare to suggest emotion, too. We couldn’t push any of this too far, though, because they had to look like animals. The facial animation was very subtle.”
Read the complete article in Cinefex 142, which also features Mad Max: Fury Road, San Andreas and Avengers: Age of Ultron.
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