13 Shots That Were Actually A Digital Paul Walker In Fast & Furious 7 - And How They Were Made
You won't believe how many were VFX.
The star had filmed about half of the movie before his tragic passing away in November 2013. And that left the filmmakers with the challenge of having to put together Walker’s acting in scenes he never even shot.
Finally, the studio who created the amazing VFX for the film, Weta Digital, have revealed how they used totally new technology to honour and complete Paul Walker’s performance.
Variety spoke to Weta Digital’s senior VFX supervisor, Joe Letteri, to explain just how the actor’s digital double was created:
Weta ended up doing a whopping 350 shots, most of them involving Walker’s character… 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.
Walkers brothers Cody and Caleb were used to film scenes too.
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 result is stunning. Take a look for yourself – the scenes below were shot with the VFX Paul Walker and the realism is MIND-BLOWING.
13 Shots That Were Actually A Digital Paul Walker In Fast & Furious 7
- By Bex May @bexlectric