Below the Line is delving into Oscar contenders. Today, it’s the Lion King:
With regards to the new software, each hair became an object, critical to the degree to which audiences would accept digitally-rendered mammals. “So instead of being an illusion of hair, it’s actually a physical item,” said Moving Picture Company (MPC) visual effects supervisor Andy Jones. “When you light something exactly the way the sun would, your brain thinks it’s real.”
The story continues:
Additionally, grooming artists on The Lion King’s effects team sculpted and painted the thickness of the hair and its movement, including how it lays on each specific animal’s body. “Making it look as real as possible,” said Newman. “It’s one of the processes that is overseen. They even add dust and dirt that is clumped into the fur.”
Visual effects supervisor Robert Legato (right) shooting live-action reference footage for The Lion King on location.
Starting in Africa, The Lion King’s production unit wished to capture the surroundings which would become environments in the finished film. “We were shooting reference photos and shooting pictures of the animals,” said visual effects supervisor Rob Legato. “We focused on, ‘If we were to shoot this for real, how would we go about it?’ We wanted the soul of the environment — we would move the camera to see different angles.”
The Lion King is up for the Best Visual Effects Oscar.
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