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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
how are they doing performance capture for smaug?

boldog
Rohan


May 7 2013, 10:43am

Post #1 of 13 (677 views)
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how are they doing performance capture for smaug? Can't Post

I have tried to get my head around this for a long time. Benedict Cumberbatch has been announced to play smaug and the necromancer in performance capture. now with the whole perfprmance capture thing, I believe it works alright with HUMANOID beings like azog, great goblin, and Gollum. but smaug is far from human, being a dragon. unless Jackson has made him kind of human in his body, I just cant understand how they will do it. The Balrog of Moria, should have been performance capture rather than smaug. I guess ill have to see how they pull it off.
also what are your thoughts on smaugs look?
For some stupid reason I keep imagining him to look like the dragon from shrek Unsure

"fingolfin looked up in grief to see what evil morgoth had done to maedhros"


Arannir
Valinor


May 7 2013, 11:06am

Post #2 of 13 (390 views)
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I think it is similar to King Kong... [In reply to] Can't Post

... I think they can easily capture a human body but then transform the muscular movements into another form... for exaple a "stretched non-human face" that the dragon will probably have. So the dragon will not actually look like BC, but through the movement of the muscles (speed, emphasis, etc.), there will still be something in there that comes directly from the actor and not just out of the computer.



A dragon is no idle fancy. Whatever may be his origins, in fact or invention, the dragon in legend is a potent creation of mens imagination, richer in significance than his barrow is in gold. J.R.R. Tolkien

Words of wisdom that should be remembered - both by critics, purists and anyone in between.

(This post was edited by Arannir on May 7 2013, 11:06am)


Sinister71
Tol Eressea


May 7 2013, 1:35pm

Post #3 of 13 (318 views)
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personallu I wish they would mo-cap [In reply to] Can't Post

a reptile. it would give the appropriate speed and movements, body structure and everything else needed. I can see mo-capping Cumberbatch's face but human and reptile movements are totally different no matter how good an actor he is the movements will still look human or bipedal.

I have several large lizards (biggest is almost 7 feet long)and reptiles and a monitor lizard would be the perfect body structure for Smaug slender yet muscular. And as far as Mo-capping one if they are raised properly they are docile as a baby and are handled very well. At least that would give a proper representation of a dragon

From all I have heard Cumberbatch has been watching footage of reptiles and trying to mimic them but I can't see something bipedal working as something supposed to be a 4 legged creature. we'll have to see how it pans out and how much they actually use of his performance. I'm hoping just for facial mo-capWink


Ffnir
Rohan


May 7 2013, 2:08pm

Post #4 of 13 (287 views)
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I think the idea of mo-capping Smaug [In reply to] Can't Post

by a human and then to transcript his movements in a digital reptile body makes a lot of sens, since a dragon, while having a reptilian body, certainly have more of a human mind than a lizard mind, so his movements could be similiar the movements of a human trapped in a lizard body. Mo-capping a reptile would make the dragon too beast like in my taste. Of course it's just working for my personal vision of Smaug. I think however they technically do it will probably make something quite interesting.


deskp
Lorien

May 7 2013, 3:00pm

Post #5 of 13 (242 views)
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nono [In reply to] Can't Post

Well you take cumberbatches eye , brow, and head movements and give it to smaug.

The animates just doesent need to start from scracth. and they get plenty of refrences.

Just cause Azog and Gollum translates almsot 1:1 to their actors doesent meed you need to do all that.

Smaugs body won't be motion captured.


Skaan
Lorien


May 7 2013, 3:53pm

Post #6 of 13 (245 views)
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You might find this link useful [In reply to] Can't Post

http://www.stuff.tv/news/life-etc/movie-classics/the-visual-effects-secrets-of-the-hobbit-an-unexpected-journey


"Most performance capture work has been used to realise humanoid characters like Gollum and King Kong but for the next film you'll be using performance capture to create the decidedly non-humanoid Smaug the dragon. How does that work, exactly?
-What we're doing with a character like Smaug is to really interpret the gestures as opposed to looking for the literal performance. So it's halfway between an animated character and a performance capture.
Really, we could've done Smaug in the traditional way just ask Benedict Cumberbatch to come into a voice booth and record his dialogue, and do everything entirely with keyframe animation. But when we record what Benedict's body is doing, it frees him up to give us some idea of the physicality and intimate the poses, so that what he's got on his mind can come through in how he's performing it and we'll take that and extend it into what we do with the dragon."


QuackingTroll
Valinor


May 7 2013, 4:21pm

Post #7 of 13 (238 views)
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Ray Winstone mo-capped the dragon in Beowulf [In reply to] Can't Post

http://youtu.be/0KA8Qkw3nks

It still has the same number of limbs as a human. The animators will handle things like the neck, the wings and the tail and use the mo-cap as reference for the head, arms, legs, and most importantly the eyes and face.

It just takes some of the weight off of the animators' backs because a lot of the movement will be done for them. Smile


(This post was edited by QuackingTroll on May 7 2013, 4:25pm)


The Mitch King
Rohan


May 7 2013, 6:12pm

Post #8 of 13 (189 views)
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Well [In reply to] Can't Post

We have seen his body already, or at least how he walks, I assume it will just be the face or perhaps just the upper torso(arms, chest, head). Maybe the other half of his body is buried in gold. Plus Benedict already looks like a dragon in my opinion. Cool


MouthofSauron
Tol Eressea


May 8 2013, 2:04am

Post #9 of 13 (125 views)
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king kong still has a human shape, arms, legs... [In reply to] Can't Post

were talking a gigantic lizard with wings, i doubt Cumberbatch resembles that.


take me down to the woodland realm where the trees are green and the elf women are pretty....Oh will you please take me home!!


AinurOlorin
Half-elven


May 10 2013, 7:26am

Post #10 of 13 (71 views)
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I do wish they had Motion Captured the Balrog. Kept the horns et al, but [In reply to] Can't Post

his shape should have been even more manlike. Oh well.

In Reply To
I have tried to get my head around this for a long time. Benedict Cumberbatch has been announced to play smaug and the necromancer in performance capture. now with the whole perfprmance capture thing, I believe it works alright with HUMANOID beings like azog, great goblin, and Gollum. but smaug is far from human, being a dragon. unless Jackson has made him kind of human in his body, I just cant understand how they will do it. The Balrog of Moria, should have been performance capture rather than smaug. I guess ill have to see how they pull it off.
also what are your thoughts on smaugs look?
For some stupid reason I keep imagining him to look like the dragon from shrek Unsure


"Hear me, hounds of Sauron, Gandalf is here! Fly if you value your foul skins, I will shrivel you from tail to snout if you step within this circle!"

"Do not be to eager to deal out death in judgement. Even the very wise cannot see all ends."


AinurOlorin
Half-elven


May 10 2013, 7:27am

Post #11 of 13 (71 views)
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I actually don't think a reptile would be quite right either. [In reply to] Can't Post

Smaug isn't a lizard. I don't imagine him moving quite like one either. Some things would be reptillian, but I would expect also some aspects of feline grace, balance and reflex to him.

In Reply To
a reptile. it would give the appropriate speed and movements, body structure and everything else needed. I can see mo-capping Cumberbatch's face but human and reptile movements are totally different no matter how good an actor he is the movements will still look human or bipedal.

I have several large lizards (biggest is almost 7 feet long)and reptiles and a monitor lizard would be the perfect body structure for Smaug slender yet muscular. And as far as Mo-capping one if they are raised properly they are docile as a baby and are handled very well. At least that would give a proper representation of a dragon

From all I have heard Cumberbatch has been watching footage of reptiles and trying to mimic them but I can't see something bipedal working as something supposed to be a 4 legged creature. we'll have to see how it pans out and how much they actually use of his performance. I'm hoping just for facial mo-capWink


"Hear me, hounds of Sauron, Gandalf is here! Fly if you value your foul skins, I will shrivel you from tail to snout if you step within this circle!"

"Do not be to eager to deal out death in judgement. Even the very wise cannot see all ends."


Sinister71
Tol Eressea


May 10 2013, 1:18pm

Post #12 of 13 (63 views)
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Reptiles can be very graceful [In reply to] Can't Post

I have several myself ranging from Bearded dragons, a black and white tegu, a nile monitor, to 3 tree monitors. My 2 black tree monitors are just under 4 feet long and extremely agile and graceful Tree monitor also move in many many ways, they can stand on their hind legs, roll over, and rub around your leg just like a cat does. Plus they can leap great distances, use their tail like a whip. Their movements are very dragonesque to be honest. Now something like a nile monitor is like a bull in a china shop and not really graceful, Tegu's are about the same but the body style would work for a sleeping dragon. But movements the tree monitor is perfect esp one raised by humans since hatching, I agree Smaug needs some sort of human like intelligence but that should be through his voice and facial expressions.


sauget.diblosio
Tol Eressea


May 10 2013, 1:36pm

Post #13 of 13 (91 views)
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I wouldn't be so sure... [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Smaug's body won't be motion captured.

I'd be willing to bet that in the special features of the DoS EE, we'll see plenty of footage of Benedict Cumberbatch crawling and slithering around the Mo-Cap stage.

 
 

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