The Mummy

[Universal Pictures]

2000 BAFTA Award nominee Best Special Visual Effects.

An American serving in the French Foreign Legion on an archaeological dig at the ancient city of Hamunaptra accidentally awakens a Mummy.

Director: Stephen Sommers
ILM Visual Effects Supervisor: Scott Farrar
ILM Animation Director: Daniel Jeanette
ILM Visual Effects Art Director: Alex Laurant
ILM Visual Effects Producer: Tom Kennedy
ILM Studios: San Francisco

Case Study

The Mummy

Release Date: May 7, 1999

To help make the decrepit CG mummy believable as an other-worldly version of Imhotep, ILM motion-captured Arnold Vosloo, the actor playing the leading role. Later the team would apply his movements to a digital mummy that had layers of CG muscles, tendons, and tissues carved out of digital models with painted displacement maps. (Until this film, no one had motion-captured a principal actor and applied that data to a CG character.) Technical directors moved the dangling bits of decayed flesh using procedural animation. The crew also developed a real-time proxy allowing the actor and director to see the CG character composited live over the background plate with allowed for precise direction of movement and motivating eyelines during the capture shoot.

The other tremendous effects ILM artists created for this film was forming the character from particles of sand during a huge sandstorm.