Watch this video on how they brought the wolves in Breaking Dawn to life!
No matter what you do, there’s no stopping “Twilight.” If you have a pre-teen daughter, niece or cousin, there’s a chance you’ll be conscripted to take her to see the latest installment, “Breaking Dawn – Part 1,” this holiday season.
The film has a scene, set in a lumberyard, in which CGI wolves debate the merits of eating Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) and her unborn child. This is where you’ll want to pay attention.
Director Bill Condon called on Tippett Studio and its founder, Phil Tippett, to develop the whole lumberyard sequence from script to screen.
“The lumberyard sequence was great,” recalled visual effects supervisor Eric Leven. “It was first time in any of these movies that it was just the wolves in wolf form doing their wolf thing.”
Although the wolves communicate telepathically, the sequence remained dialogue-driven.
“We got into a recording room and assigned roles,” said lead animator Hans Brekke. “Then we took the dialogue track and started designing shots, which were loosely based on a storyboard sequence.”
Animators produced a computer-generated pre-visualization of all the lumberyard shots, ensuring that the “speaking” wolf (played by Taylor Lautner), would remain in the center of frame.
Armed with the prev-is, the filmmakers shot the scene over three days, on a lumberyard set complete with giant logs that had to be craned in. Cardboard cutouts stood in for the wolves.
Back at Tippett Studio, visual effects artists used an in-house grooming tool called a Furator to create the wolves’ realistic coats and refined the animation to match the voices of the real actors.
The artists also ensured that small details, like the ears, helped demonstrate the hierarchal relationship between the different members of the wolf pack.
“It’s a very alpha thing to do, to push [the ears] forward,” said Brekke.
“It was our responsibility to make sure the wolves carry over, and that the audience feels that we’re getting the wolves right,” Leven added.
Source: The Daily