<i>The Adventures of Tintin</i>: Mo-Cap Expert Jamie Beard Talks Animating Tintin

A movie literally decades in the making, The Adventures of Tintin began its trip to the big screen in 1983, when Steven Spielberg first reached out to Belgian comics artist Hergé about acquiring the film rights to his most famous creation, the intrepid journalist/adventurer Tintin. But for a variety of reasons, the project kept falling by the wayside, that is, until Spielberg teamed up with Peter Jackson in the wake of the New Zealand director's epic Lord of the Rings trilogy. Together, the duo decided that doing full justice to Hergé's comics meant eschewing a conventional live action adaptation in favor of the animation process known as motion capture, whereby live actors perform the characters on set and then computer animators translate their work onto digital models. Jamie Beard, a veteran employee of Jackson's New Zealand-based effects house Weta Digital, served as animation supervisor on The Adventures of Tintin and played a significant role in overseeing the design of the film's world and its characters. He spoke with us about bringing the motion capture Tintin (played by Jamie Bell) to life and why he sometimes made the actors walk on futon mattresses on set.

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