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Just as the Twilight book-turned-movie series has painted a romantic picture of vampires, it is now similarly redefi ning our notion of werewolves. For e Twilight Saga: New Moon, the second fi lm based on the book from Stephenie Meyer, the audience is introduced to this additional group of supernatural characters. Yet, these are not the scary, bloodthirsty beasts from folklore; in the book, they are handsome young men of Native American decent who can morph into majestic large wolves. But it is CG magic performed at Tippett Studio that enables this transformation to take place on screen with the degree of realism needed to sell the scenes. According to Matt Jacobs, co-visual eff ects supervisor at Tippett, the group was asked to con- jure up some initial designs for the beasts without knowing where on the wolf-to-monster dial the New Moon creatures would land. Director Chris Weitz later determined that they would fall more on the side of real wolves, with realistic proportions but much larger than a typical wolf. "His objective was to stay true to what the fans of the Twilight series expected after read- ing the books and what the author intended when she wrote the books, and that was not some man/wolf creature," says Jacobs. e Tippett team created fi ve realistic CG wolves, each with a distinct look and representing one of fi ve Native American youths in the fi lm—including the main character Jacob—who shape-shift into the ani- mals. In the movie, Jacob (Taylor Lautner) befriends and falls in love with Bella (Kristen Stewart), who still harbors deep feelings for the vampire Edward after he and his family move away when the desire for Bella's blood became too great. At fi rst, Bella sees Jacob only as a friend, but eventually grows to love him, too. But, just as Edward has a dark supernatural side, so, too, does Jacob. He is a werewolf, which forever has been the mortal enemy of vampires. Jacob and his pack proceed to patrol the forests to guard against a new vampire threat that leaves Bella more vulnerable than ever without Edward and his family to protect her. To support the story line, the CG artists had to model and animate the digital animals for approximately 60 shots, making sure that their size—akin to small horses—comes through on screen, particularly when there is little object reference in the shots to illustrate how large these animals are. "We tried to do little things with eff ects to help sell the mass of these characters in the animation performance, and spent a lot of time working on the eff ects," says art director Nate Fredenburg, "the weight of the fur, the jiggle of muscle." However, the most complicated aspect was the fur. A real wolf 's fur has a lot of color variation along the length of the hair. Also, the type and thickness of the fur varies over a wolf 's body. "Tackling the multiple looks in one creature and making the fur blend together was defi nitely one of the more challenging aspects of the animals," says Jacobs. December 2009 38 ■ ■ ■ ■ CG Animals In the movie New Moon, actors shape-shift into realistic, albeit much larger than normal, CG wolves. Tippett Studio performed the transformation, which occurs quickly, in a matter of just a few frames. Images ©2009 Summit Entertainment. Courtesy Tippett Studio.

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