The scarily convincing facial movements of the ‘young Dren’ character in Warner Bros’ new horror flick Splice were created by facial animators Image Metrics, using data captured during a motion capture shoot at Toronto’s Core Digital studio.
During the shoot, a rig controlling the cheeks, eyes, eyebrows and forehead of the actress Delphine Chanéac, who plays the adult Dren, captured a wide range of facial movements.
Five animators and four tracking artists at Image Metrics used this data to build an accurate if unrefined first animation pass for the character.
Next, the animation team “took more time” to intricately refine this initial pass and further hone the realism of the movements to closely match the vision of director Vincenzo Natali.
In total, Image Metrics’ proprietary rigging and animation technology, which has been used in a long list of games and films (including Benjamin Button), created 128 seconds of facial animation in Splice.
Check out the trailer for Splice below and watch carefully for a few tantalising glimpses of the ‘young Dren’ character.