You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

New process frees villain

Motion-capture system allows for on-set perfs

Rather than send Bill Nighy to a motion-capture stage to re-create his perf, visual effects supervisor John Knoll plundered his “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest” mo-cap footage during principal photography, from the very decks of the Flying Dutchman.

“We had a couple of small, unobtrusive cameras on the set that we could move and get a clear view of the character,” Knoll details. “We also put Nighy in a gray suit instead of a blue or green one because it would better approximate the light bounce onto the other characters around him later.”

Capturing Nighy’s performance with the first unit meant fewer headaches later on for the animators.

“Davy Jones is such an important part of this story, so making him real to the audience is essential,” says Hal Hickel, the film’s animation supervisor. “Actually having Bill Nighy on set portraying him meant that the actors are reacting to one another, the eyelines are correct, and (it) makes everything else you do afterwards when you’re animating look right.”

“This process depends on many small things coming together,” Knoll says. “If there was an actor on set at one point, then I’m going to get a lot of those things right immediately.”

More Scene

  • AMAs Afterparty at Watt's with Niall

    Niall Horan, Chainsmokers, Rae Sremmurd Bring the AMAs After-Party to Beverly Hills

    Rather than send Bill Nighy to a motion-capture stage to re-create his perf, visual effects supervisor John Knoll plundered his “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest” mo-cap footage during principal photography, from the very decks of the Flying Dutchman. “We had a couple of small, unobtrusive cameras on the set that we could move […]

  • HBO Presents-Night of Too Many Stars

    Jon Stewart, Other A-List Comics Skip Over Louis C.K. at 'Night of Too Many Stars'

    Rather than send Bill Nighy to a motion-capture stage to re-create his perf, visual effects supervisor John Knoll plundered his “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest” mo-cap footage during principal photography, from the very decks of the Flying Dutchman. “We had a couple of small, unobtrusive cameras on the set that we could move […]

  • Variety Hitmakers Brunch

    Kendrick Lamar, DJ Khaled, Hailee Steinfeld Honored at Inaugural Variety Hitmakers Event

    Rather than send Bill Nighy to a motion-capture stage to re-create his perf, visual effects supervisor John Knoll plundered his “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest” mo-cap footage during principal photography, from the very decks of the Flying Dutchman. “We had a couple of small, unobtrusive cameras on the set that we could move […]

  • The 'Runaways' Praise Series' Diversity at

    'Marvel's Runaways' Stars Praise Series' Diversity at Hulu Premiere

    Rather than send Bill Nighy to a motion-capture stage to re-create his perf, visual effects supervisor John Knoll plundered his “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest” mo-cap footage during principal photography, from the very decks of the Flying Dutchman. “We had a couple of small, unobtrusive cameras on the set that we could move […]

  • 'The Shape of Water' film premiere

    Guillermo del Toro Calls 'The Shape of Water' a New Type of 'Beauty and the Beast'

    Rather than send Bill Nighy to a motion-capture stage to re-create his perf, visual effects supervisor John Knoll plundered his “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest” mo-cap footage during principal photography, from the very decks of the Flying Dutchman. “We had a couple of small, unobtrusive cameras on the set that we could move […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content