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Cinesite Creates Photoreal Talking Dogs For Beverly Hills Chihuahua

Cinesite completed more than 700 visual effects shots on BEVERLY HILLS CHIHUAHUA, including CG muzzles for eleven different breeds of dog. Cinesite was the largest single supplier of effects to the film and created the most advanced talking animal effects to ever hit the cinema screen.

BEVERLY HILLS CHIHUAHUA (Directed by Raja Gosnell for Walt Disney Pictures) follows the story of Chloe, a Chihuahua who finds herself in need of assistance when she gets lost in Mexico. In her quest to be reunited with her owner she meets many characters, some trying to help her, and some who want to eat her for dinner. Released October 3 in the U.S., it was the top film in its opening weekend.

A bespoke system was developed at Cinesite, which involved reprojecting live action textures over a 3D model and utilizing the in-house CG fur pipeline. Often, the dogs' lower jaws hung open with protruding tongues in their original performances, as they panted in the heat; this needed to be completely removed. Large sections of the dogs' faces including nose, lips, teeth and lower jaw, as well as patches above and including the eyebrows were recreated digitally and tracked to the real dogs. The dogs' original performances were maintained and integrated seamlessly with the digital areas.

Cinesite's quota of work was overseen by Visual Effects Supervisor Matt Johnson, Animation Supervisor Alex Williams and CG Supervisor Jon Neill. Visual Effects Supervisor for Disney was Mike McAlister.

Cinesite (Europe) is currently working on several productions including PRINCE OF PERSIA: THE SANDS OF TIME (Walt Disney Pictures), HARRY POTTER & THE HALF BLOOD PRINCE (Warner Bros.), THE PRISONER (ITV/AMC), NUTCRACKER: THE UNTOLD STORY(Mirovision), MOON (Liberty Films), THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL(Twentieth Century Fox) and BEDTIME STORIES (Walt Disney Pictures).