from the fxguide article:
For Akiva Schaffer’s buddy alien comedy The Watch, not only did Digital Domain have to create CG out-of-this-world creatures, they also had to blow up a cow, and a Costco. We talk to visual effects supervisor Kelly Port about the film.
fxg: How did Digital Domain craft the CG aliens?
Port: Well, Legacy Effects, the practical creature company, designed the built suits for performance actors to get into. We had always planned to do some CG aliens, but the original plan for the close-up hero work where you just see an arm or a face was to use these suits. What ended up happening was that we used some of the suits, but as some of the dynamics of a particular scene unfolded, and the director wanted to give a sense that these things were not human, and literally not look like guys in a suit, so we did a lot of them in CG.
The guys in the suit had limited mobility, so as the creatures scampered around and did big jumps and climbing around walls, it became easier to do a CG version of that. We ended up doing up to 300 closer to 400 alien animations. Some of them were big shots where you’d have 40 to 60 aliens in a single shot. Most of the time it was just a few, anywhere from just a single one to 5 or 6 in shot. It varied considerably.
fxg: What animation techniques did you use?
Port: We used a combination of both. We did a day’s motion capture session at our studios at Playa Vista. We went through a series of motions with our performers. It was challenging because there wasn’t anything we could use a hundred per cent – mostly because in the really active scenes where they are running and jumping, not only are the proportions slightly different, which you can scale in a rig, the director really didn’t want it to appear as any recognizable animal, especially a human. It couldn’t walk like an ape, or crawl like a chimp.
Working with Steve Nichols, our animation supervisor, we found the best approach was, as the alien was in a run, say, it would never really be in a particular cycle for very long – it would always move from one to the other – it would jump or grab onto the side. The viewer never really has time to settle on a particular characteristic to allow them to say, ‘Oh, that’s a cheetah or an ape…’.
Ahorro Postal #184-2
México DF, México
email: sunstar74 @ hotmail.com