Friday, September 9, 2011

Pirates of the Caribbean Animation

While researching computer generated make-up, I discovered something about the Pirates of the Caribbean series, and specifically Davy Jones, that shocked me more than I should have been. In my last post I talked about how I'm really not a fan of CG characters because they look too hologram-esque and take me out of the story. Well, that was never the case with Pirates. In fact, I didn't think Pirates had any CGI besides making Davy Jones's tentacles move and the guy with the shell head become decapitated. But today was different:

today, I learned that 100% of Davy Jones and his crew were animated. 

This is silly because apparently everyone else knew that they were completely computer generated, but I seemed to miss that. I assumed that there was some sort of CGI, but I believed that Bill Nighy was at least wearing a costume. No. I was wrong. Very, very wrong. So I decided to research the process of creating the army of sea-men, and I discovered even more; almost everything involved some sort of CGI. The ships were detailed, the actors were added, layers of foreground were created, and the entire set was formed.

So in the previous video you see the before and after for almost everything that had CG help, but not much of the process was explained so I continued my research. (For the next video, I'm sorry about the noise in the background but I thought the process was really interesting to watch and I quite enjoy the detail they show us.) 

Now unfortunately there is one really cool link that shows the full pictures of before and after for each individual character but I am not allowed to embed the video on the blog, so here's the link. For the basic idea what it shows you, however, here is a photograph.

Again, I guess I was the only one who didn't notice that Pirates had a ton of CG because there are countless videos and websites dedicated to detailing and explaining the process of creating POTC. It truly amazes me because I honestly thought that each character had some sort of costume or make-up and then the artists just went back later to animate them. There is so much detail required for the process and I am so spellbound by the amount of work that goes into creating these movies. It goes over so many peoples' heads, especially the general audience members, and I think motion graphics is really an under-appreciated art that should be explored more.

1 comment :

  1. Actually the fact that you missed that Pirates had a LOT of CGI is the best compliment for the VFX crew! so don't feel bad about it! you are the target audience. I also loved the movie(s) because even though I am very aware of how they are done I could still simply be taken by the story and throughly enjoy it.
    I really don't think motion graphics is an under-appreciated art. In fact, some of the early motion graphic artists like Saul Bass became instant stars and had their own individual credits on the films they participated in.