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SCENE STEALER

A standout confrontation in 'New Moon'

November 26, 2009

Darkness may be a visual effects artist's best friend, but his biggest enemy isn't bright sunlight -- it's the overcast day. So, adding all those CG werewolves to scenes shot in cloudy Vancouver, Canada, was a particular challenge for "New Moon" visual effects supervisor Phil Tippett and his team. "On a sunny day, you get really nice contrasts, but with flat lighting and a furry thing -- the fur really soaks up the light and everything appears flat," Tippett said. "So to make it appear three-dimensional, we had to goose reality. We emphasized their shadows and used rim lights" to make the wolves stand out from the background. But that's not the only way Tippett and company played with reality. When that wolf checks out Bella, it's not a wolf's eyes, it's Jacob's. "We brought Taylor [Lautner] in and had him haul his eyelids back as far as possible and shot close-ups." They then added those eyes to the giant-sized animated timber wolf used in the scene.

-- Patrick Kevin Day

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