How War for the Planet of the Apes Evolves Visual Effects

The latest featurette for War for the Planet of the Apes explains how the film takes another step forward in improving its central motion-capture visual effects. That's not necessarily a surprise since those same visual effects techniques and technologies have been at the heart of 20th Century Fox's ambitious Planet of the Apes prequel franchise from the very beginning. And by bringing in motion-capture veteran Andy Serkis - who practically pioneered the technology onscreen with his performance as Gollum in the Lord of the Rings films - the films have managed to turn its lead Ape characters into emotional and relatable heroes for audiences and critics to root for.

The technology itself was already awe-inspiring in 2011's Rise of the Planet of the Apes, which featured Serkis' first lead turn as the motion-capture-created Ape leader, Caesar. But it's  only grown more and more intricate and detailed over the past few years, both in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes - the 2014 sequel to Rise - and in multiple other films that have put it to use. And it doesn't look like the technology's evolution is going to be stopping anytime soon either.

With only a few more weeks to go until War for the Planet of the Apes is released, 20th Century Fox has unveiled a brand new featurette for the film online this morning. By showcasing the creation process for each of the main ape characters in the film as well, the featurette dives deep into how the actual motion-capture performances by the actors are animated and fully-realized in the VFX rooms, in addition to how War is going to be pushing the limits of the motion-capture technologies even further than they've ever gone before. Check out the featurette for yourself in the space above.

While many other franchise films have used the motion-capture technologies in their own unique ways, none of them have quite managed to use it the way that the Apes films have. Aside from the fact that Serkis himself has been a longtime proponent of the technology, he and director Matt Reeves have worked tirelessly over the past few years to make sure his performance as Caesar is as fully rendered and emotional as possible, in both Dawn and this summer's War for the Planet of the Apes.

And in order for War to truly hit even harder than its two predecessors, the technology will have to be better than ever. The film promises to be the most emotional and epic installment in the prequel series yet, as it features Caesar facing off against Woody Harrelson's Colonel in a battle that will decide the future of the planet, once and for all. Reeves has promised multiple times now that War will be the final chapter in Caesar's ongoing cinematic journey and so far, early reactions seem to indicate that he and Serkis managed to make it more than a fitting end, for one of this generation's most compelling film protagonists.

MORE: Early War for the Planet of the Apes Reactions

Source: 20th Century Fox

Key Release Dates
  • War for the Planet of the Apes (2017) release date: Jul 14, 2017
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