Tuesday, 20 November 2018

How to Animate Dinosaurs

Jurassic World
One of the highlights of October's VIEW conference in Turin, Italy, was Glen McIntosh's presentation on  the making of Jurassic World, and Fallen Kingdom.

Glen was the animation supervisor on both projects. His talk was a masterclass in creature animation, showing just how much research goes into the creation and animation of the dinosaurs.

McIntosh described the Jurassic Park series of movies as a "balance between science and entertainment", as the film-makers try to keep both audiences and paleontologists happy.

No animator knows how dinosaurs actually moved. But, dinosaurs have plenty of living relatives, such as birds,  and animators can find useful reference material in many corners of the natural world.

Glen McIntosh
Test Animation
Each "Jurassic" movie strives to raise the bar in terms of the quality and skill of the animation.  McIntosh and his team began by doing do motion studies, test animation, to try to make the latest film reach and even surpass the quality of the last.

The importance of live action reference
Animators did early run cycles on "Blue", one of the raptors, keeping Blue's head almost completely still, while the rest of the body is running, its eyes constantly focusing on its prey.  The animation was based on motion studies of a cheetah, a fast predator whose head remains locked in position to enable to cheetah to keep its prey constantly in its line of sight. 


The Natural World
The animators looked at live action footage of alligators and lizards, recording sounds and capturing footage. Alligators, for example, vibrate their throats when they make threatening sounds, and this animation was used to help create the Indominus Rex. Real creature behaviour helps to make the animation feel more believable.

Komodo dragons
The animators also looked at footage of komodo dragons. Komodo dragons fight one another for mating rights, and these fights can be extremely vicious.  They also cannot lick their lips, and as a result they have nasty strings of saliva dangling from their mouths. The animators borrowed this saliva for a close-up of the carnosaur in Jurassic World - to get a particularly disgusting look.

We're no strangers to dinosaurs here at Animation Apprentice. To see some excellent dinosaur animation done by one of our students, check out "Tokyo Rex", the work of Lee Caller, below:

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1 comment:

  1. WOW!! Amazing Lots of hard work is required to make an ultimate animated movie. Keep it up!!