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Weta Releases VFX Breakdown for Final ‘Hobbit’ Feature

New video showcases visual effects created for the final installment of Peter Jackson’s ‘Hobbit’ trilogy, including key battle sequences and the destruction of Laketown.

The wizards at Weta Digital have released a new VFX breakdown for the final installment of Peter Jackson’s Hobbit trilogy, Battle of the Five Armies.

The adventure of Bilbo Baggins and the company of dwarves comes to a climatic conclusion when they are faced with the devastating consequences of having unleashed the dragon Smaug and reclaiming the Lonely Mountain. They are soon embroiled in an epic battle as five great armies go to war.

The movie’s 1,836 visual effects shots, comprising the majority of the film, were shot natively in stereoscopic 3D at 48fps. The film’s three major villains, including the dragon Smaug, were completely digital, as were most of the backgrounds and environments, and were animated using a combination of key-frame animation and motion capture.

The new video shows extensive breakdowns for many of the film’s key sequences, including integrated FX simulations produced for the destruction of Laketown, and several complex battle scenes. Check it out in the player below:

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies was the first feature to fully leverage Weta’s new production rendering software, Manuka, which allowed complex battle scenes to be rendered in a single pass. Weta also employed its effects package, Odin, for sequences using water, smoke and fire.

Jennifer Wolfe's picture

Formerly Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network, Jennifer Wolfe has worked in the Media & Entertainment industry as a writer and PR professional since 2003.