Today’s blog will provide the detail information about the visual effects used in the film Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle.
Both Live-action as well as animated movies has been made on the Rudyard Kipling’s famous fictional character Mowgli.
Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle released on the Netflix and selected theatres in 2018.
Huge viewers will be able to see Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle online due to its release on Netflix.
Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle is about a naked feral boy child rescued by a panther (Bagheera) and raised by a family of Indian Wolves.
Rohan Chand an American child actor is the protagonist in this movie.
Andy Serkis is the director of this film who is best known for his performance capture roles in the films like The Lord of the Rings, King Kong etc.
Mo-Cap For Computer Generated Creatures in Mowgli Legend Of The Jungle
Actor Rohan Chand who played the role of Mowgli is an orphaned boy who is bound to choose between human society and jungle.
Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle is a combination of live-action along with CGI or Computer Generated Imagery.
Motion Capture is an important VFX technique which has been performed in this film by actor Christian Bale for Black Panther Bagheera.
Bagheera protects Mowgli in the jungle, he is sensible and wise; he knows that Mowgli belongs to the humans in the village.
Mo-Cap with head mounted camera captured the actor’s performances.
Actor Benedict Cumberbatch did the Mo-Cap for Shere Khan, a Bengal tiger.
The ferocious Shere Khan is hampered by a lame leg.
Cate Blanchett did performance capture for Kaa, an Indian Python; narrator of the film.
Kaa is dangerous uses hypnotism to get over Mowgli.
Naomie Harris gave Mo-Cap for Nisha the female wolf, who adopts the baby Mowgli as her wolf cubs.
Akela, head of the wolf pack is played by Peter Mullan.
Akela is like father figure to Mowgli but as Mowgli grows he thinks that his family will be safe from Shere Khan if Mowgli moves to man’s village.
Tabaqui Hyena is a new character to many as he was never featured in the Disney adaptation of Jungle Book.
Performance capture done by Tom Hollander for Tabaqui a sly hyena who serves as messenger to Shere Khan.
John Lockwood a hunter shoots Akela, before dying Akela gives his blessing to Mowgli to lead Jungle’s creatures and the wolf pack.
Serkis himself did Mo-Cap for Baloo the bear who is one of the Mowgli’s teachers.
Baloo is a biggest character with a heart of gold and a close friendship with Mowgli.
Baloo is less responsible than Bagheera and don’t understand why Mowgli can’t stay in Jungle.
Serkis is the master of Motion Capture, so his Baloo is someone special.
The plot of the film follows Mowgli who gets captured by the villagers.
Messua played by actress Freida Pinto adopts wild Mowgli and thinks he is her long-lost son.
As the villagers were Indian their costumes were very similar to the authentic Indian dresses.
During the end of the film Mowgli kills Shere Khan and ends the reign of terror.
In the Mo-Cap process sensors captures the facial details and transfers it to the CG characters.
Most of the shooting for this film took place in South Africa and at Warner Bros. Studios in England.
Live-Action Merged With CGI
Animation Supervisor Max Solomon believes that actor’s sensitive performances are transposed onto the 3D creatures by the animators which makes the audience engage with what they see on screen.
Framestore studio created the animal creatures which reminded us of the actors through their eyes.
3D software were used for modelling the animals, 3D animals were given motion through the Mo-Cap techniques.
Framestore, Black Ginger and Rodeo FX did the visual effects for this film.
Framestore did 1164 shots of visual effects for this film.
Studio artists used in-house muscle and skin simulation technology on the animal characters.
Maya’s nCloth feature was used to add layers in detail.
VFX Supervisor Nigel Denton-Howes supervised the overall visual effects whereas Rodeo FX used creature FX simulation to sharpen facial expressions of the animals.
Jungle creatures with their in-depth facial expressions have made the story much lively.
Along with Mo-Cap different Simulation software added the details in the creature’s body.
Motion Capture and Animation together created visually stunning world of Rudyard Kipling’s popular story.
At Rodeo FX Visual Effects Company which is located at Canada, Computer Generated team animated Shere Khan in a dynamic way.
Stunning World Of Rudyard Kipling
Team united actor Rohan Chand in a CG photo-real environment surrounded by Computer Generated elephant.
CG elephant were crafted in the 3D software while the sounds of the real animals were added later on.
To create Jungle environment Framestore searched from the extensive plant library from the software.
FX team worked a lot to develop the interactive things needed to bring the plants to life.
Selecting the flora and fauna, then merging it with the live-action is an interesting task as well as laborious.
Many actions have been shot inside the studios with the Green Screen and later real background was added.
Lighting was also adjusted to make the jungle bright and fresh.
The whole process of adding visual effects were done at the post-production stage for which Serkis did lot of planning and sketching.
Truly Andy Serkis has the power to develop a performance beyond what is shot.
Andy Serkis moves his camera in impossible angles through the caves, tracking shots and down cliffs.
Human actors wore stilt walkers over the Mo-Cap suits to imitate the height and posture of the animal they are playing.
Mowgli: The Legend of Jungle is a mad fantasy world where characters had bodies of human but the untamed spirit of a creature.
It is a film between man-made and computer-made and Andy proves himself as courageous to explore.
This film received positive reviews from the critics who praised the cast, visual effects and Serkis’s direction.