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News & Insight

BTS: Benedict Cumberbatch As Smaug In The Hobbit

By Anthony Thurston on October 24th 2013

We are now about 6 weeks away from the release of The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug, and the excitement level for this author is starting to hit critical levels. I have watched the trailers about a hundred times each – tonight, haha – and am constantly looking to get another fix of my Middle Earth.

Today I came across these awesome images of Benedict Cumberbatch acting as smaug for the motion capture cameras. Benedict is one of my favorite actors currently and to see him putting this much effort into Smaug really gets me excited for the new movie to come out.

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What I think is really neat is that fact that they even used motion capture technology for a dragon that is going to be completely CG, I mean they could have had him just do a voice over and matched his voice to the CG model. It just goes to show the level of detail that they are putting into the films, and I think it is great.

I am really interested to see how these expressions get translated to the render of Smaug, I mean look at the man – can you say intense?

Are you excited for Part II of The Hobbit? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

[via Geek Tyrant]

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Anthony Thurston is a photographer based in the Salem, Oregon area specializing in Boudoir. He recently started a new project, Fiercely Boudoir to help support the growing boudoir community. Find him over on Instagram. You may also connect with him via Email.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. JC

    This is nothing new, Most CG characters with dialogue are based on motion capture performance eg King Kong, Planet of the Apes, TinTin, Gollum, Avatar etc. it’s far harder to create expressions and lip sync actors dialogue to a “CG model”.The actors Motion capture is key to making these look realistic.

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    • Anthony T.

      May not be new, but it is still interesting to see :)

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    • Stephen

      Not really. It’s actually harder to map a face to a model the less alike they are. They’ll have to warp the mocap points so much that it would be less work for an animator to do a keyed animation by hand. It’s more for bragging rights than anything at this point.

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