Founded in 2011 and situated in Ealing Studios, London, The Imaginarum is the brainchild of Jonathan Cavendish and Andy Serkis. While film producer Cavendish may not be a household name, despite having produced acclaimed movies including December Bride, Elizabeth: The Golden Age and All Good Children, The Imaginarium's co-founder Serkis is renowned in the movie industry for his performance capture work in Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings trilogy, King Kong and The Hobbit trilogy as well as in 20th Century Fox's Planet of the Apes reboot trilogy.
The Imaginarium Team... and dog... and Martian!
The Imaginarium is a cutting edge production studio with integrated performance and motion capture facilities whose unique performance capture services are dedicated to creating believable and emotionally engaging virtual characters sourced from an artists captured performance for use in movies, TV shows and video games. An excerpt from their website, www.TheImaginariumStudios.com, perfectly explains what performance capture is...
Performance Capture is the technical process used to translate an actor’s performance into a digital character.
Each subtle facial expression, body movement and vocalisation is recorded via a synchronised array of specialised cameras and used to deliver a computer-generated or ‘digital’ character which can look either photo-real or stylised.
This process allows for direct real-time communication and spontaneity on set between actors, and between the director and actor. Performance is at the centre of the process; this is what gives a digital character life and soul.
At The Imaginarium, we recognise that the actor’s performance is the essence of the character and must not be lost on its journey to the final digital performance on screen. We work in close collaboration with a team of highly skilled visual effects artists to develop the final on screen digital character, which remains true to the original performance. Together we create digital characters with whom an audience can fully and emotionally engage.
Performance Capture has brought to life the fantasy worlds of Lord of the Rings, King Kong, Avatar, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, The Adventures of Tintin and other recent hit movies.
As well as supplying the facilities and services to create award winning performance capture visuals for a movies production, The Imaginarium also offers a consultancy service, which are currently being utilised in director Joss Whedon's Avengers: Age of Ultron and J.J. Abram's Star Wars Episode VII, both of which are currently in production in the UK.
The Imaginarium is also developing an adaptation of George Orwell's classic children's book Animal Farm, combining their performance capture studio with an A list Hollywood cast to generate the many characters performances, directed by Serkis...
“I think we have found a rather fresh way of looking at the story using an amalgamation of filming styles, including performance capture. It is a wide canvas on which we are exploring how far we can take performance capture with quadrupeds. We are exploring new avenues of performance including puppeteering parts of animals; it’s terribly exciting.”
The Imaginarium's talents can be seen July 11th in director Matt Reeves Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, which sees co-founder Serkis reprise his role as the leader and liberator of the Ape empire Caesar. The eagerly anticipated movie will feature hundreds of virtually realised apes generated from The Imaginarium world leading performance capture studio.
All images used courtesy of The Imaginarium!
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