First Look At CGI Ape In ‘Rise of the Planet of the Apes’

Published 4 years ago by , Updated April 13th, 2011 at 2:05 pm,

Rise of the Planet of the Apes weta effects First Look At CGI Ape In Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Things have been busy of late with respect to Fox’s Planet of the Apes prequel, which was recently renamed Rise of the Planet of the Apes. Not only is the film now slated to hit theaters this summer, but an actual trailer for the sci-fi adventure should be released in the near future (possibly before the month is out).

The Apes prequel is a departure from its predecessors, in the sense that it uses motion-capture technology to create the titular simians – courtesy of Peter Jackson’s Weta Digital – as opposed to old-fashioned tools like makeup and prosthetics.

Even Tim Burton’s generally-maligned Planet of the Apes “re-imagining” relied on practical, rather than digital, effects to create its non-human primate characters. However, seeing as Weta utilized the same technology used in Avatar to create the CGI creatures in Rise of the Planet of the Apes, there’s been good reason to think that the Apes prequel could trump the previous films by actually creating photo-realistic talking apes.

Now a short clip has been released (via Facebook) that offers a first look at Weta’s F/X work in Rise of the Planet of the Apes. But do the results look up to scratch?

Find out by watching the video below:

The results look quite good to me, based off those few seconds of footage. That might not end up being the case when the CGI apes do more than just sit there and brood in Rise of the Planet of the Apes, but the facial structure, fur design, and slight humanistic qualities of the creature shown here – is this Caesar (Andy Serkis)? – all seem spot-on so far.

We’ve certainly come a long way since the 1968 film adaptation of Planet of the Apes, which featured simians who – among other things – could never quite move their mouths properly (due to the restrictive nature of the ape makeup). While the Apes prequel could easily be technically superior to that original movie, we’ll have to wait and see if its thematic qualities are an improvement as well.

Planet of the Apes makeup First Look At CGI Ape In Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Rise of the Planet of the Apes stars James Franco as a driven scientist whose genetic experiments on the primate Caesar (Serkis) have unforeseen consequences which affect the very future of humankind. It will arrive in U.S. theaters this summer on August 5th.

How does this early clip from Rise of the Planet of the Apes look to you?

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  1. weta’s amazing from a special effects stand point (they did avatar and LoTR) so i have faith in their ability to create a realistic looking ape (never thought i’d say that) hehehe but none the less, i wont be watching this movie, the old ones didn’t attract me and the most recent version was to boring for me to sit through. looks good though

  2. Cripes! I blinked and missed it!!!

  3. which era of the past is this going to cover? we had 5 original movies and a tv show that showed everything. they have a lot of homework to do to tell me a convincing backstory.

    • and another thing, a prequel to a movie forty years old? it didn’t work with star wars. technology won’t match the original backstory. charlton heston didn’t know what an ipod was. i am sure this movie will be full of them. even if it is twenty years after the astronauts crash landed in the future, that means it might take place during conquest or battle for the planet of the apes. the sets will have to be oversimplified by todays standards to match the original movie.

    • “Who wants to see a movie when you already know how it’s going to end? “

      Oh, I don’t know… Titanic sure made a lot of money, didn’t it? 8)


  4. Does anyone care that soon we won’t need actors or actresses…it will all be CGI? These effects are eye catching and mind boggling, but movies are not as good as yesteryear! Just an opinion…not trying to insult or start a ruckus….

    • I know what you mean, Frankie, but human beings will always be needed for mocap, and no computer will ever be able to simulate the emotion in a real vocal performance (famous last words…).