Concerning the Shrinking of Actors

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Did you ever wonder how Peter Jackson managed to make the hobbits and dwarves so much shorter than everyone else? In the Lord of the Rings, the scene was shot twice, one with the actors that were to be shrunk and the other with those of regular stature. This created a problem because it was a real hassle to shoot a scene twice and refine it. However, with the better technology that has come around since then, things were done a little bit differently with the filming of The Hobbit movies.The actors were filmed on two different sets at the same time. One set was what we actually see in the theater, and the other was a green screen so the two could be merged. This separation allowed the camera to be brought a lot closer to Gandalf, making him appear larger. The camera filming the first set was placed upon an Aerocrane, and its movements were turned into data by a computer, scaled down, and sent to a Genuflex crane filming the second set.The second camera mirrored the movements of the Aerocrane, though on a much smaller scale, preserving the illusion that Gandalf is much larger than the dwarves and Bilbo. That is not even the amazing part. Each was filmed in 3D, and many takes reached 12,000 frames, which takes up about 2 terabytes of data. That is a lot.
I would like to give special thanks to Popular Mechanics' Eric Vespe for posting this information and photo. The post can be visited on the Popular Mechanics website via this link.

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