Popular Mechanics on Special Effects Used in Half-Blood Prince


Jul 15, 2009

Posted by SueTLC

Popular Mechanics has a new article online today that gives some new insight regarding the special effects used for two scenes in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince done by Double Negative. As seen in the many trailers and clips from the film, HBP features an attack on the Millennium Bridge in London, England to showcase the rampant actions of the Death Eaters, as well as the Inferi in the cave. While there are movie spoilers contained in the article, the piece does contain technical info on how the scenes were created with legendary VFX house ILM:

“Once modeled, the Inferi went
to a painter, who laid down the creatures’ color and texture, while
another designer put a skeleton inside the Inferi model to make it
move. Next, animators began motion tests. Because Yates wanted to avoid
zombie cliches, ILM spent a lot of time researching the movement of the
Inferi. “It really came down to their expressions and movements to keep
them out of zombie land,” Anderson says. Yates cast actors and filmed
their movements using motion-capture technology,
which was eventually combined with hand animation, to create the
Inferi’s final movement. “Not having them groan and stick their arms
out gets you away from the zombie look,” Anderson says. Animators used
an in-house software called Zeno to animate the Inferi crowds and the
flocking above and below the surface of the lake.

Creating the Inferi scene “was
extremely challenging work,” Anderson says. It took six people 45 weeks
to create the Inferi; once they were created, the team needed 25 more
artists to complete the necessary shots. The final result? Two very
impressive minutes of screen time.”

Related: The New York Daily News let us know about some cool pics they have of work done by ILM creating special effects for various blockbusters, including this of the Inferi for Half-Blood Prince, as well as Dobby in CoS.

22 Responses to Popular Mechanics on Special Effects Used in Half-Blood Prince

Avatar ImagePhylis says: That was an impressive two minutes of film! I can't believe it was only that long. Wow! Avatar Imagepinkmoosely says: I love this kind of thing even though it's way over my head. Shouldn't we get John to translate the article to English ;)Avatar Imagepinkmoosely says: I love this kind of thing even though it's way over my head. Shouln't we get John to translate the article to English ;)Avatar Imageforgetmenot_007 says: The special effects are the life of our favourite HP movies.Cheers to the animators! :-)Avatar ImageFresca says: They did a great job on the special effects, judging by the trailers I have seen. It's amazing how they stay true to JK's descriptions while bringing life to Dobby and the inferi. Cool Stuff!Avatar ImageWON_TWO says: Excellent piece... Avatar Imagejrivas1284 says: Well done Yates, I knw this stuff is hard to make. iam sure your work will be recognized.....Avatar Imageginny_potter4ever says: Wow just seen the film it was AMAZING!!!!! Best one of the seris i think!!!Avatar Imagegryffindor1991 says: cool. there are a lot of thing i would like to know how they do for the movies.Avatar ImageMugglejeff says: everything they do to make the film look so realistic is really cool.Avatar ImageRavenclaw98 says: that part scared me to death when i saw it it looked so realAvatar Imagefriendofblob says: so cool, it was defintly worth it. me and my friends were freaking out, they kinda remind me of pictures you see from concentration camps.Avatar ImageMidnightSun321 says: wow!!! 45 weeks? thats a loooong time!!!Avatar Imagesimos says: All this work for 2 minutes! The scene is great, but really, what a waste!Avatar ImageJadeDanielle says: Some of the fx were a little bit meh, to be honest, but I cannot deny that the Inferi scene was TERRIFYING. They looked so creepy. Their time was not wasted!Avatar ImageChelseaBee says: so very cool, I can't wait to see HBP!!!Avatar ImageHermione Elizabeth says: The special effects that can be made today never cease to amaze me... it truly is awesome how much work is put into stuff like that, which may be only on screen for a few minutes.Avatar ImageGret says: That's amazing! The Inferi were incredible, they did a good job :) Avatar ImageMooChild says: 45 weeks spent to get an incredible 2 minutes- wow! I was definitely impressed with that scene.Avatar ImageNot Slytherin says: Wow -- 45 weeks ... such dedication!Avatar ImageKiralay says: Their work was magnificently incredible. None of their effort went to waste.Avatar Imagehermyone08 says: interesting inferi

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