Weta and Massey make horses with bite
Wellington's Weta Digital and Massey University have worked together to generate horses capable of battling vampires.
Massey's equine treadmill was used to collect motion capture images of horses in motion for the film Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, which is now screening in New Zealand. These were used to build computer-generated horses.
Deb Prattley, from Massey's Institute of Veterinary, Animal and Biomedical Sciences in Palmerston North, was one of the people who helped Weta Digital create realistic-looking digital horses for the project.
"They had several cameras in the room, including overhead, and filmed the horse at different gaits so they could use that information to create computer-generated models of horses doing different things,'' Dr Prattley said.
The team from Weta Digital also talked to the institute's anatomists to ensure movements were realistic.
"They needed to make sure the joints articulated in the correct directions by the correct amounts and the muscles appeared with the right shapes in the right places, as the horse moved.
"They had previously built models by looking at the horses from the outside, but we were able to give them an understanding of the structure - so the models are built from the inside out."
The study drilled down to the expressions on the horses' faces, their hair, and the way their nostrils looked.
X-rays and CT scans were done to understand how horses moved.
Using computer-generated horses reduced animal welfare issues on set, she said.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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