Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Intelligent Apes with Digital Fur: Livestream with Weta about Rise of the Planet of the Apes

The New Zeland special effects company Weta Digital is going to be hosting a livestream chat about their work on the special effects for Rise of the Planet of the Apes on Wednesday, April 13th at 5:30PM ET (2:30PM PT).

You can watch it right here:

Rise of the Planet of the Apes is the story of a present-day neurobiologist (played by James Franco) working on a cure for Alzheimers. The research involves testing on apes, and one of the subjects - Cesar -starts to display an unexpected level of intelligence, so the scientist helps him escape the lab. The rest, as they say, will be history.

Apparently no apes were used in the production of the movie. It also doesn't follow the lead of previous Planet of the Apes movies that used human actors in heavy makeup and furry suits. Instead Cesar and the movie's other non-human apes will be totally computer animated.

Weta Digital  provided award-winning digital effects for Lord of the Rings (including Gollum), Avatar, King Kong, District 9, and a number of other science fiction and fantasy movies.  They teamed up with Columbia University's Computer Graphics Group to help develop realistically moving computer-generated fur.

Here's a teaser animation of Cesar:

Looks promisingly real.

The movie is currently scheduled for release in August. It will be interesting to see if the movie turns out to be more than just cool visual effects.

Update 4/13 AM: the link for the livestream has been updated.


  1. SWEET! This looks interesting. I'd like to see a sequel that actually shows the war and how we lost, and then we can go into the territory of the old films and TV show. Oh and the siren beat was used in the "Inception" trailer too. This one seems a little different though as it's not as pronounced and actually just sounds like part of the music as opposed to an additional sound effect.

  2. Hi there! I stumbled upon your blog while looking up info on Planet of the Apes. As a speculative fiction writer, I've always been interested in the "science" of science fiction, so I'll definitely be back!


  3. AR: I'm hoping the movie is good enough to merit a sequel.

    SN: Welcome!


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