Session details


Thursday May 04
The Weta Experience: Bringing the Beast to Life - The Visual Effects of King Kong
Matt Aitken, Digital FX Supervisor, Weta Digital Ltd.

Using behind the scenes footage, Weta Digital's Matt Aitken will outline the creation of many aspects of the visual effects for Peter Jackson's "King Kong". For the second time Weta Digital was required to create an entirely CG character that would carry a lead performance. Building on the experience gained creating Gollum for the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy, Weta Digital developed new technologies for facial animation, creature rigging and fur to bring "King Kong"s title character to the screen. The presentation will also go in depth into the collaboration between Weta Digital's animators and the reference performance created by actor Andy Serkis, the relationship between motion capture and keyframe animation, in creating Kong's performance. As well as Kong himself, the presentation will cover new approaches to the digital recreation of 1933 New York, the roll played by digital effects in taking a film shot entirely on set and locating it on Skull Island and at sea, and the creation of other creatures and effects for a film where over 90% of the film is digital effect shots.

In 1994, shortly after completing his Master of Science, Matt was offered work at Peter Jackson’s then fledgling digital effects facility, Weta Digital Ltd. In the early days, working at Weta Digital involved all aspects of digital film effects production from film scanning and recording to animation, lighting, compositing and software development. Matt has worked at Weta Digital ever since, supervising computer graphics on many film projects including "The Frighteners", "Contact" and "I, Robot". Matt was Digital Models Supervisor on "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy and Pre-Production CG Supervisor for "King Kong".

Matt Aitken
Digital FX Supervisor
Weta Digital Ltd.

Weta Digital Ltd. is an Academy Award winning visual effects facility based in Wellington, New Zealand. Weta Digital offers world class visual effects for international feature films and commercials; providing a total in-house service from conceptual design right through to state of the art 3D animation. The company is best known for its visual effects work on New Line Cinema’s "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy, and Universal Pictures’ "King Kong".

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