Underworld Awakens the World
Enter Luma, supervised by Vincent Cirelli. Luma utilized the motion capture stage at its new Santa Monica facility to enhance and improve the character design. Rather than fabricate a traditional snorri-cam (with a camera mounted around an actor's chest), Luma devised a helmet to capture every movement of Holden-Reid's face, independent of his body movements, as he thrashed around in pain acting out the transformation from man to werewolf. A custom framework was fabricated from lightweight piping and fitted with a wide-angle Go Pro camera. This was then secured to the helmet with the lens facing the actor's face.
The new workflow was incorporated early in the process to allow for directors Björn Stein and Måns Mårlind to provide input into character movement and to help capture the personality Holden-Reid imbued into the character of the Uber Lycan. Providing 106 intense CG creature shots, spanning two distinct Werewolf species with environmental interaction and 35 specific assets, Luma's work represents their most robust contribution to the Underworld franchise to date.
Bill Desowitz is former senior editor of AWN and editor of VFXWorld. He has a new blog, Immersed in Movies (www.billdesowitz.com), and is currently writing a book about the evolution of James Bond from Connery to Craig, scheduled for publication this year, which is the 50th anniversary of the franchise.