New featurette for Dawn of the Planet of the Apes promises a “quantum leap” in VFX

 It’s only a matter of weeks now until the story of the apes’ rise to power continues in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, and a new video featurette for the film offers a fascinating look behind the scenes at the new tricks director Matt Reeves and FX studio WETA were able to pull off in the second installment of the modern Planet of the Apes franchise.

Along with the well-documented use of motion-capture performances, the new film required a grander scope for the FX introduced in 2011’s surprise hit, Rise of the Planet of the Apes — particularly a large number of wireless cameras to capture the mo-cap performances in forest settings. With the sequel unfolding nearly a decade after the events of Rise of the Planet of the Apes, the apes’ evolution into a larger, more organized society living in the woods required new cinematic and technical elements to bring to life, according to the featurette (which debuted at IGN).

The three-minute video offers some insight from Reeves and the FX team regarding some of the other new challenges they faced this time around, which included elements like replicating the apes’ wet fur digitally, which was something that wasn’t necessary in the first film. Sure, it seems like a simple element, but as the featurette indicates, dry fur is difficult enough to create and wet fur — especially on a large group of apes — can be an even more complicated FX process.

You can see the end result of all this FX magic when Dawn of the Planet of the Apes arrives in theaters July 11. 

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