Sometime years after Jurassic Park, the theme park is open. Colin Trevorrow’s take on what happens when the park is fully operational has a genuine nostalgia for the original films but takes the series in a new direction. The film grabs at some deeper ideas like what the world would be like if dinosaurs were commonplace, and the relationship of humans and animals, but still has fun with dinosaurs running amuck.
From a visual effects perspective, there was an immense pressure to live up to the beloved, original film. ILM visual effects supervisor Tim Alexander and team consulted with visual effects greats like Dennis Muren and Phil Tippet as well as Legacy Effects to discuss the making of the original film. Ultimately, our approach was to shoot as much as possible in real world locations and to use maquettes and standins onset to represent the dinosaurs; a basic approach, but time proven and effective. Along the way we also integrated motion capture into the post production pipeline and it became the primary tool for raptor animation.
ILM San Francisco, Singapore and Vancouver were among the five studios to contribute to Jurassic World’s 988 shots. Miniatures and physical effects were an important part of our process as we wanted the world to feel as grounded in reality as possible. We choose to build a 1/3 scale, 30 foot tall version of the jurassic world gates. Additionally, in an effort to make our dinosaurs unique, our muscle and skin simulations were heavily used. This allowed the dinosaur’s flex and slide movement to be seen in detail.
Jurassic World was a difficult show due to its nostalgia factor. We tried to pay homage to the roots of a franchise that brought many of us into Visual Effects but bring this film into the future as both special and visual effects have changed greatly over the past 20 years. Every chance possible we opted for physical effects and real world reference to help ground the film and attempt to make us believe, once again, that dinosaurs walk the earth, even if they are commonplace.