They are experts in anatomy. They build creatures from the inside out: skeleton, muscles, skin and hair. Then they apply their knowledge of physics and acting to make their creatures move.
Digital creatures must share the stage with live-action actors. They have to perform every kind of movement from a subtle eye twitch to a deadly body slam.
Simon Clutterbuck of WETA’s digital creature department, (click to enlarge/ Photo by Julian Butlerhttp://www.julianbutler.com/) planned a fun New Year’s gift for their team: a set of 47 signed copies of Color and Light. They went outdoors yesterday in that fine New Zealand summer weather to take this group photo. These artists been living for weeks in the caves with the dragon Smaug so a little sunlight won’t hurt them.
Since they ordered such a big batch of books, and since I’m such a huge fan of WETA, I wanted to make the gift extra special. So I carved a unique rubber stamp using craft foam glued to a wood block.
Each book got the custom stamp, as well as a one-of-a-kind creature sketch that I made with pens and colored pencils. I imagined them as the “47 Creatures of Whangakokototoi Island,” —a tiny island off the coast of New Zealand that no one has discovered yet.
Here’s a sampling of the sketches, about one third of the whole set. Of course I didn’t know what each of the artists looked like, or what sorts of animals they liked, so I just guessed and drew the whatever popped into my head.
Simon and Rachael, I thank you. And WETA Creatures, I salute you!
If YOU, dear blog reader, are part of a large game company, movie studio, or art school, maybe you can get your department head or club organizer to put together a group purchase of Color and Light or Imaginative Realism. If there are more than 30 books in a single order, I’ll do a some sort of special design for you. Also, with a big order, I can ship internationally.
Color and Light signed from the Dinotopia Store
Questions about group ordering: jgurneyart
Color and Light on Amazon internationally: USA | CA | UK | FR | DE | JP
Weta Creature show reel on YouTube (Caution: includes movie violence and disturbing images)
King Kong climbs the Empire State