Sad News For Serkis Fans

Animator Tim Borrelli tweeted this article of an interview with Joe Letteri, Weta’s senior visual effects supervisor:

It’s still a work in progress because figuring out how facial muscles work is not easily understood because they don’t behave like the other muscles in the body. They are not so bound by the skeleton. But there’s enough of it working for the animators to drive the performance, whether it comes from the capture or the animation or the combination of the two.

there’s a big interpretive effort that goes into that. But then it comes back full-circle: You go through this whole process of tracking and analyzing the data, interpreting it through these FACS poses and then putting it back on the face through all the combination muscle shapes. And then you just look at it side by side with the performance from the actor and say, ‘Does that look like the right performance or not?’ If not, why not?”

I personally feel this article settles the recent debate as to whether Andy Serkis deserves recognition over the hundreds of talented VFX artist who painstakingly made the character Caesar come to life.

Soldier On.

One Response to Sad News For Serkis Fans

  1. I think you’re blinding yourself with bias here. Why can’t we have it both ways — VFX artists contribute enormously to films like these and deserve recognition. So do mocap actors. No, Serkis is not solely responsible for the performance of the CG character, but that doesn’t mean he can’t be recognized for his contribution. Being loud and catty will not win points for VFX artists within Hollywood, and being willing to acknowledge the roles of actors like Serkis is crucial if we expect proper recognition for ours.

    What it comes down to is what Serkis was doing was ACTING. Perhaps not in a conventional situation, but it was acting. What the animators were doing was ANIMATING. There are awards for acting and there are awards for animating, because these are different skills. Most actors would make terrible animators (without practice at least) and vice versa. But you’re caught up in your preconceptions — one is not lesser than the other, and being awarded as an animator should be just as high an honor as being awarded as an actor. So instead of trying to take away glory from actors, let’s try and tell the world how important we are, and how much our skills bring to the production.

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