During the video, the previs team receives an order for an image called “Goblins slowly move torture machines towards the Great Goblin’s platform,” and an animated stopwatch ticks off the minutes as the team works.
Next, VFX supervisor Eric Saindon heads over to Wexford Road, the production office where the “Hobbit” animators work. At the office, animation supervisor Dave Clayton explains the process behind animating the sequence in which three hungry trolls threaten Bilbo (Martin Freeman), including the use of motion-capture technology so the movements of the actor playing one of the trolls could be used for the film.
“Are there any more of you little fellas hiding where you shouldn’t?” one of the trolls growls in footage from the film.
“No,” Freeman replies hastily, dangling as he’s held upside down by the troll.
Jackson explains that the field of motion-capture has made significant strides during production, which brings the cameras to the next stop on the tour: the Department of Internal Beard-Hairs. The men working in that department motion-capture beards to be added to the film, which involves creating a virtual beard, then adding motion-capture dots to an actor where the beard would go, and having them act as they would in the scene.
“Motivation here: it’s dark, it’s stormy, you’re in the mountains,” beard mocap technician Jance Rubinchik tells the actor, who then winces and looks uncomfortable as he would in such weather as the camera rolls.
Later at Wexford Road, two staff members “release the animators” as the first task of the day. When they knock, the door opens to reveal a group of people dressed in pajamas.
“If people don’t have to leave, we’re happy for them to stay,” Saindon says. Shots show crew members cooking eggs, doing laundry, and even getting massages.