‘The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug’ – Virtual Cinematography Featurette

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Weta Digital released a new ‘Virtual Cinematography’ featurette for ‘The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.’

On their quest to reclaim the dwarvish kingdom of Erebor from the dragon Smaug, Bilbo and the company of dwarves travel through the wilds of Middle-earth, from the cold and mysterious Lake-town to the wild rapids of the barrel escape and the sinister forest of Mirkwood. Weta Digital’s ‘real-world’ approach to virtual lighting and camera work helped sculpt the story of their incredible journey through Middle-earth. From initial previs to the final shot, see how virtual cinematography worked alongside traditional cameras and lighting in this exclusive making-of clip.

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Geek Art: Thorin and Dwalin Meet Red and Wembley

Digital Artwork by DeviantArtist Euclase:

Friends:

“I thought it might be nice if, instead of a dragon, the Dwarves found Fraggles in their mountain. And they became friends and sang songs and ate radishes. And nobody had to die.”

Friends by euclase - (Thorin:The Hobbit)

Courage:

“Brave Wembley and his friend, Mr. Dwalin. The original Dwalin is already in my gallery—I added Wembley just because.”

Courage by euclase (Dwalin:The Hobbit)

Weta Digital VFX Breakdown On Creating Laketown and more

LakeTown

Weta Digital has released a new VFX breakdown video on creating Laketown from ‘The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.’

Laketown: The Devil is in the Details: 

To create the city, our models department built 50 unique buildings, eight unique bridges and six towers, all of which were dressed and scaled differently in order to provide the vast amounts of variance required to populate the 200,000 square metres of ground with up to 1,500 buildings visible in some of the shots. Over two million planks of wood, more than five million roof tiles and 1,749 walkways were created to bring Lake-town to life.

VFX of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug: the_hobbit_desolation_of_smaug

Middle-earth is a fantastical world of imagined landscapes and many incredible digital creatures. We completed almost 2000 VFX shots for the film, encompassing hero digital performance work, large scale water and fire simulations, complex digital environments, digital doubles of a large cast, and extensive creature work. Take a glimpse at the invention, artistry and innovation that the artists at Weta Digital used to make it all come together in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.

Behind-the-scene video of Orlando Bloom shows off his knife skills:  

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[Via TheOneRing.net]

Making Of ‘The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug:’ Barrel Escape Scene [VIDEO]

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The barrel scene in the ‘Desolation of Smaug,’ was one of my favorite scenes in the movie. The two and a half-minute video called, ‘Creating a Waterlogged Action Sequence-Design FX,’ shows the making of the seven minute barrel escape sequence.

The sequence took 98 hours of footage from aerial shots, green-screen sets, live-action shoots, and complex CG environments to make the final white-knuckle scene.

Just for fun, Bombur’s barrel scene:

[Via Wired | TheOneRing.Net]

Walking with Bilbo

I would first like to beg your patience with me as I am not as well versed in posting as my friend GiGi. I’m sure it will come to me quickly but in the meantime, I beg you to bare with the rougher posts :)

In adding to our vision of this blog, I wanted to share things more personal to We Geek Girls in hopes that we not only provide a place to hang out but also allow for friendships to form. So, welcome…

Faith plays a large role in the lives of We Geek Girls. Our friendship has been a huge blessing in that in each other we have found a place to both sharpen our Faithdom and Fandom!!

I’ve just finished a book that I believe was pivotal in helping me see that all parts of who we are created to be CAN blend in the most beautiful way. In Walking with Bilbo Sarah Arthur describes our walk with The Lord as an Adventure of Faith. I will admit that I’ve never considered this path an adventure until I went through this study.

Sarah pulls just enough from The Hobbit to make the lesson you are about learn more familiar. I, who have always related with Bilbo, found great comfort in being reminded of the challenges he faced before realizing my own challenges in my own life.

(I’ve been a Tolkien fan for years but I am no scholar and have often been timid in giving opinion for that reason but I feel safe here so…)

Maybe it is because I was looking for it but there is a remarkable parallel in both The Hobbit and LOTR and my own personal adventure of faith. Each chapter was a beautiful reminder that we are never alone, that help will always come to those who know where to look for it.

It took me a year to go through this study and not because it’s is long. I guess it was just my process. Each time I sat down to read was the exact perfect moment in my life to be reading what I was reading, no coincidence I am sure.

The chapters are set up with a glimpse at The Hobbit so it would be helpful to be familiar with the story before beginning this study. From there the author poses reflective questions about your life for you to consider. Lastly, she points you to applicable scripture references. I was impressed and amazed at how perfectly the chapters and scripture matched.

I found myself writing more than I have in years (and it’s a great passion of mine). I had a notebook for the study, a personal journal and a dream journal (to record my actual dreams). Things manifest differently for everyone and that is one of the reason I wanted to share this study with you (if you find yourself on the adventure of faith also).

By the time the study ended, I not only knew myself better but I knew The Lord better, Tolkien better, Bilbo better and LOVED them all more than I thought possible.

It’s clear to me that God used Tolkien and his brilliant beautiful mind to connect we dreamers and believers. This adventure doesn’t have to either Fandom or Faithdom, it CAN be a blend of both, we just have to look for Him in it :)

I am starting Walking with Frodo next and I look forward to deepening my connection with The Lord, Tolkien, Frodo and you :)

Thanks for sticking we me through this ❤️

~CC

**Sarah Arthur has a website, can be found on Facebook and her books purchased through Amazon.***

Benedict Cumberbatch Motion Capture for Smaug [Featurette]

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With Peter Jackson’s ‘The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug’ set to release on Blu-Ray on April 8th, Weta Digital released a behind-the-scenes featurette on creating Smaug. Check out Benedict Cumberbatch wearing a Mocap suit.

“Using our motion-capture stage, we recorded his performances, which focused on the conversation with Bilbo sequence. Having Benedict in a mocap suit was lots of fun — for us, and hopefully for him, too — and seemed to help get him immersed and home in on the character.”

“The translation of performance from Benedict to Smaug wasn’t a one-to-one match like you’d get from a humanoid creature. They have very different physiologies,” Clayton explains. “As animators we had to transpose the elements of Benedict’s performance that were critical to the shot, such as head nuances and facial expressions. We then built up the majority of his motion with keyframe animation”

“Smaug needed a formidable presence, so we worked hard to craft impressive poses for his massive body, wings and tail. He also covered a full range of moods — from supreme arrogance to paranoid suspicion, from curiosity to violent rage. Adding to his versatility as a character was the creation of his hands. We achieved this by adding a thumb and extra forefingers to Smaug’s wings.” – David Clayton told THR

[Via The Hollywood Reporter]