From live-action to final shots: a Weta Digital case study on Maze Runner: The Death Cure


“We have a tonne of data, we actually went a bit nuts on the film and we just over-covered.” – Chris White, Weta Digital visual effects supervisor

When I watched some of the b-roll footage for Wes Ball’s latest Maze Runner film, The Death Cure – releasing soon on home entertainment – I was really struck with the nature of the shoot. Lots of sets, and lots of partial sets, that would ultimately be filled in with visual effects. So when I talked to Weta Digital’s visual effects supervisor Chris White about how they approached the VFX in the film, I wanted to narrow in on what it took to take the live action shoot through to finished effects shots.

Here’s a run down of how principal photography was taken through to final shots by the Weta Digital team, focusing on just a few main sequences from the film: the opening train heist, scenes in Last City, the WCKD building jump and the rooftop escape. Plus a special look at some make-up effects enhancement.  Continue reading “From live-action to final shots: a Weta Digital case study on Maze Runner: The Death Cure”

The art of translating humans to apes


In War for the Planet of the Apes, Weta Digital proved once again its status as a leading creature house, and one of the most accomplished at taking motion captured human performances and using that as a basis to further realize photoreal digital characters with meticulous attention to detail.

Academy Award nominee Daniel Barrett was Weta Digital’s animation supervisor on War for the Planet of the Apes. The other nominees in the visual effects category for the film are Joe Letteri, Dan Lemmon and Joel Whist. Here Barrett breaks down a few of the main challenges in translating human motion captured performance into digital apes, including dealing with, of all things, smiles. Continue reading “The art of translating humans to apes”