Image Engine, the Vancouver-based special effects company that worked on Neill Blomkamp’s Chappie, has posted up a VFX breakdown reel that shows just how they transformed Sharlto Copley into the film’s titular robot.
The reel shows off just how intensive the CGI for the film was: Copley had to be taken out of each frame which he was present in, but his presence allowed his fellow cast members to work and react to his movements on set.
No Film School notes that Blomkamp’s background in visual effects helped him, and go into a bit of detail about how the film came together:
The workflow for creating Chappie was pretty incredible, involving the animators taking inspiration from everyday parts, and including those in the model. Once they had built the model in software, it was then sent to 3D printers so that full-scale robots could be assembled and painted by Weta Workshop to be used in the film. It’s an unusual process, and it meant that the real-life props had to match the software-created model, instead of the other way around.
Read more (and see a bunch of other videos that go behind the scenes for Chappie) over at No Film School.