Rise of the Planet of the Apes hit cinemas yesterday, and for a special effects blockbuster, I was surprised by its cautionary tone and heart. The film centres on main ape, Caesar, an amazing CG realisation from Weta Digital and Andy “Gollum” Serkis. I sat down with Senior Visual Effects Supervisor, Joe Letteri, to ask how performance capture has progressed since Avatar and Lord of the Rings, and find out if Weta has contemplated video games.
Turns out that Rise of the Planet of the Apes has 1000 digital effect shots — the most Weta has produced for a film since Avatar. Their motion capture tech can now also leave the studio, and this let Andy Serkis interact much more with the other actors. I’ve spliced the video above with some clips from the film, and as you’ll see, his performance is crazy good.