Thursday, April 12, 2012

Making of Walking With Dinosaurs

This post isn't going to be entirely motion graphics related, but there are parts of it that I think are interesting for animation. I'm in a class called History of Life on Earth, we watch movies a bunch of movies about hominins and dinosaurs. Some of the films we watch are really cheesy and terribly made, but last week, we watched the BBC America series Walking With Dinosaurs. While watching one class, I was looking at how realistic everything looked and wondered how it had been made. Coincidently, the very next class we watched a DVD extra about the making of the series, and I think I was the most fascinated I have ever been during this class. So much went into making the series, from finding locations that could match prehistorically, to recreating the dinosaurs and everything. I was unable to find the entire video shown, but I was able to find some of the parts online.

Obviously, they had to use animated dinosaurs. so to do this they made models that they then scanned and animated. But even after they did this, they then had to determine exactly how to make the creatures move and move realistically. So to do this, they studied living animals and tried to copy their movements.

scanning the models

studying how they walk

But for the close ups of the dinosaurs, they actually used animatronics and models.

There were other parts that I just couldn't find video of, but showed how they found the locations to film at and then how they had to almost predict what they were going to have the dinosaurs do. If a dinosaur was going to walk through water, they had to throw logs and rocks into the water to make the splashes that would have been there. The video also showed the process of then putting the animated dinosaurs into the shots, and how they then had to manipulate the lighting and colors to make the scenes look realistic, similar to what we are doing now with our scenes.

Not only was it fascinating to watch it, but also to watch how the paleontologists, film makers, and animators all had to work together to make a realistic series.

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