Oscar Winning Techniques for the Golden Compass
In the last newsletter we told you about the success of The Golden Compass with its Oscar winning special effects. As part of creating Iorek the polar bear, Framestore CFC commissioned Ian Menzies from Motion Control Cameras to build a mechanical structure which would move with similar motion to a walking or galloping bear when mounted by a rider. This consisted of a 6-degree of freedom motion base platform and several additional axes of motion, all controlled by Flair motion control software. The motions were programmed and pre-visualized in 3D to relate to the motions of the bear, and transferred to Flair for it to exactly duplicate the motions with the actors, so that their motion would match that of the computer animated bear.
Here is some footage from the pre-visualization showing only the mechanical skeleton without the bear flesh, as well as a shot of a test shoot with the Cyclops rig and the motion base in the foreground.