Variety released some awesome photos today about the visual effects work Weta Digital did to create some of Paul Walker’s performance in Furious 7 following the actor’s tragic death in a car accident in the middle of production. We did’tnotice half the screenshot seen below were V FX. Well done guys!
Here’s a few quotes from the company’s senior VFX supervisor, Joe Letteri, as well as embed a gallery of images so you can see the results of what he talks about:
Unlike the motion-capture work that Weta had done on earlier films, there were no scans of Walker to create a digital double. So the team went through old footage, building a reference library of Walker as Brian O’Conner by using outtakes from “Furious 7” and previous films in the franchise. But those moments had been filmed in one lighting environment and the Weta team “essentially had to relight his performance” digitally for each new scene, said Letteri.
The filmmakers scanned Walker’s brothers Cody and Caleb, as well as actor John Brotherton (who has a role in the film and whose build and coloring are similar to Walker’s). The three men tried to capture the timing and direction that director Wan wanted. Weta essentially motion-captured the work of the three men, and then reapplied that to Walker digital models they had created.
Those digital models included extensive work on Walker’s hair and skin — how his facial muscles moved if he frowned or raised his eyebrows, how his coloring would flush after exertion or how the hair changes depending on the light or the wind. They even worked to make sure he blinked in character.
The album features some of the VFX Paul Walker shots in the movie. There are quite a few more in the movie. Note the phrasing “VFX” Paul Walker, while the majority of the shots in the movie featuring a body double of Paul Walker have a CG version of his face there are a few in the movie that used existing footage of his face composited into new scenes.
All the Paul Walker VFX Shots In Furious 7 Listed: