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?

Get our free email alerts on the topics and author of this article:


Post a Comment

GravatarWant to change your avatar?
Go to and upload your own (we'll wait)!

 Rules: No profanity or personal attacks.
 Use a valid email address or risk being banned from commenting.

If your comment doesn't show up immediately, it may have been flagged for moderation. Please try refreshing the page first, then drop us a note and we'll retrieve it. Keep in mind that we do not allow external links in the comments.

  1. Looks really good to me! But it’s only 5 seconds and he’s doing nothing, so it’s hard to tell.

  2. Andy Serkis is partly Armenian. A lot of people don’t know that.

    • Are you Michael Caine, by any chance…? :-P

  3. this movie ooks really good

    • yes, this movie, ook ook ook, really good! ook ook!
      (sorry, couldn’t resist the monkey stereotype)

      • LOL – had to be done!

  4. I think it looks great!, AND BESIDES its WETA digital! and Andy Serkis is doing the motion capture. This guy is probably one of the most well known and (i think in my opinion) best motion capture guy out there in the film industry. If he is doing motion capture, then it should be reat to see.

    • *great

  5. Certainly looks good to me. Very menacing with the atmospheric music in the background.

  6. I hope that I’m not getting my hopes up, but that looked amazing, I already can’t wait to see more.

  7. Looks better than Green Lantern. They should’ve used Weta to do their fx, not Imageworks.

  8. He does look like he’s getting ready to speak. My guess is that’s suppose to be Caesar.

    Allot of ways to make the story better, just have to wait and see how it turns out…

  9. Personally think it looks amazing.

  10. It doesn’t matter how good the CG looks, it will still and always be inferior to practical effects. Too bad Hollywood can’t understand that.

    • I agree. Practical effects win every time.

    • What? I don’t understand your logic behind this at all. I understand not liking in movies like Sucker Punch where all the action takes places in front of a greenscreen and looks terrible, but I don’t even vaguely see the problem with motion capture.

    • i disagree with you on that one. practical effects cant keep up with the cg we have now.

    • What do you mean ALWAYS?! Sheeezzzz how short sighted you are! You think CGI is going to stay at the same standard that it is now? Just look at the progress of CGI from the late 90′s to now. Where would we be if everyone thought the Tron technology from the 80′s were the height of what computer graphics would achieve?

      CGI is on the precipice I think of making it impossible to tell what is puppets and make up and digital. At this pace we are going to see it sometime this decade!!

      • And yet the practical effects in the original Planet of the Apes seem more life-like than anything in Avatar or the CG-Jeff Bridges in Tron Legacy ever were.

        • You’re totally missing the point of what I said… Why are you mentioning current movies? I’m talking about the future. I don’t disagree with the fact that right now make up and that kind of technology is in some aspects still better than CGI, looks more realistic. The human eye can catch the subtleties very well.
          What I am saying is in the FUTURE CGI will match that realism and surpass it. And I’d love to see you tell me that it is not going to happen EVER. Tell me that’s impossible!

          • @ Ghost……I have to agree with others and you are setting yourself up for fail by committing to words like “always”.

            CGI is very very close to finally bridging the uncanny valley. You are going to be hating movies in the 7-10 years because they will be completely CGI and you won’t be able to tell (other than the fact you know such and such actor has been dead for 30 years).

        • Yeah, it’s more real because it is a real dude, but it doesn’t look like an actual ape, just some dude in an ape costume.

  11. Nope. Not seeing this movie. I’ll watch the ORIGINAL Planet of the Apes instead.

  12. This is a prequel to the original Planet of the Apes right?

    • Technically it’s a remake of the prequel to Planet Of The Apes.

      • That’s what is killing my interest in this movie. It’s set befor the original film, but is pretty much a remake of Conquest of the Planet of the Apes. That and CG apes.

        • I gotta say that going the Conquest route is probably the main reason I want to see this…eliminate all the time travel nonsense and just go straight to the point where the Apes start to think for themselves. That to me is the best starting point to reboot this series. One worry to me is if they feel the need to pay homage to any of the original films, that always backfires. And please no ‘shocking’ ending scene that will blow our minds, that only worked once…

  13. Looks great.

  14. “Damn digital ape!”

    Seriously though, this looks great. Hope they put as much effort into the script.

    • My thoughts exactly. Everyone’s talking up digital fx vs. practical the real point is story how good is it and are the actors involved mailing it in or are they inspired by a really good script. I hope that more than anything that the story is compelling after all that’s what really made the original such a sci-fi classic.

  15. That “original ‘Planet of the Apes’ movie” screenshot is from the TV series (McDowall as Galen). “Old-fashioned”? Geeeeez….

    • Sorry about that – I no longer imply that screenshot is from the original PotA movie.

      As for calling those practical F/X “old-fashioned”… well, they kind of are. Mind you, I generally prefer the use of makeup and prosthetics as well, but there’s no denying that we’re in the digital age of film – for better or for worse.

  16. Looks great!

  17. The real test will be to see it/them moving and interacting with live humans.

  18. They are going to obviously spend a lot more time on details like this close up (I want to imagine this is where the first ape has an intellectual realization) than other action shots, but it looks great. Way more realistic than the Gollum stuff from Lord of the Rings, but of course that isn’t a real creature haha.

  19. Now that is kinda scary.

  20. I don’t see why this particular shot could not have been makeup. CGI does not always = “advancement”.

    • yeah, but that shot looked clean…it is probably easier doing all cg, rather than trying to blend make up scenes and cg scenes together…i like continuity…and most people do.

    • It doesn’t always mean advancement but it IS advancing what we are doing in terms of special effects and taking us to some very interesting possibilities. Tell me I’m wrong.

      It’s also faster. Guys are not spending 9 hours on a table putting on make up etc. to be in a suit. You’re capable of doing more. There’s technology coming out at the end of this year that will cut in half the time it takes for CGI to be polished up. Use to take more than a year. Now it takes less than 6 months and cheaper.

      Look at the new video game that’s out L.A. -Something I forgot what it was called. There are real actors- but they are in a special light room and its scanning their faces and incorporating them into these scenes, and it is not perfect yet, but its a big upgrade from what was before. Avatar is a big upgrade from Final Fantasy CGI movie that came out in the late 90′s.

      It will come guys, but we wont see the advancement of technologies if guys are scared to try something different and push the limits of technology. That’s the only thing that made this marvelous entertainment industry possible.

      • This actually sounds to me similiar to those guys that use to complain about the very special effects of Steven Spielberg and George Lucas, the guys that use to harp about stop motion special effects. King Kong was cool and all- I loved it. It’s a classic, but it doesn’t compare to what we have now.

        This is all steps and stages. That’s my opinion. I love seeing new technologies and what it can offer us. I also love Dark Crystal and Empire Strikes back with old school Yoda and Jabba the Hutt

  21. I like this! Brand new on my “TO SEE” list.

    • just to inform everyone trailer will be released this thursday…
      not at the end of the month

  22. I prefer practical make-up and effects over digital but I have high hopes for this. Look at King Kong (Peter Jackson’s version) to make the hair on a huge CGI ape looks realistic is amazing so for this I have no worries except on that there is suppose to be alot of monkeys instead of 1 big one.

  23. It really is amazing how our effects have progressed, I now it was only four seconds long but it got me truly excited I can’t wait for the first trailer

  24. The clip is just too short, it could turn out like CLU from Tron legacy a few shots had you believing but a 4 second shot of moving eyes really isn’t enough to convince me yet, though if it works out better than CLU and the now dated looking Gollum they should use it in Tr3n for Tron/ Boxleitner

  25. Hey cool, they recreated dramatic chipmunk!

  26. Im looking forward to it. Hopefully it doesnt disapppoint like Marky Mark’s movie.

  27. It looks perfect, suddenly I become interested with this movie, “good job’ . . .

  28. so is this a prequel to the original POTA? or to the tim burton film?

    • The Tim Burton film was set in the future, and the chimp couldn’t talk. So this would be a prequel to the original.

  29. Thats a great 4 second clip, actually gave me a great sense of what the film as a whole could be like.