Guardians of the Galaxy will be one of the biggest risks Marvel Studios will have taken yet when it’s released in 2014. The comic book series is flat-out strange, with weird aliens from different planets all coming together to fight the evil Thanos. The Guardians are sort of like the bizarro Avengers (not to mix comic book publishers or metaphors).
In an interview with our sister site, CinemaBlend, Marvel VFX producer Victoria Alonso explains how the studio will bring odd characters such as Rocket Raccoon and the treelike alien Groot to life in the upcoming comic book movie. Will they be CGI characters, or actors in costumes and makeup? Alonso says:
We’re going to do a combination. You can’t do any motion capture with a raccoon – they won’t let you put the suit on [laughs]. But we will do rotomation, probably, for some of the behavior. Rocket will have his own personality, of course, and clearly we can’t do mocap on a tree, per [se], but we definitely will have performers to emulate what James Gunn will lead to be the behavior and the performance. He’s very clear on where he wants to take the characters.
Rotoanimation is animation through rotoscoping, a process that requires animators to trace over, frame-by-frame, live-action sequences. For a point of reference, watch Richard Linklater’s A Scanner Darkly or Waking Life, and Ralph Bakshi’s Lord of the Rings. You can almost see this process working for Groot, but for Rocket Raccoon, a CGI character would likely work best.
Alonso went on to say that production has already begun on Guardians of the Galaxy, and director James Gunn will travel to London next week to join in on the fun. Principle photography will start this June, with the cosmic comic-book movie targeting an August 2014 release date.
To bridge the gap the more “normal” Marvel universe and the out-there antics of the Guardians, the studio is introducing the Guardians of the Galaxy at the end of its superhero sequel films, possibly including Iron Man 3. Also, be on the lookout for a Guardians tag at the end of Thor: A Dark World in November.
Guardians of the Galaxy will hit theaters everywhere on August 1, 2014, in 3D.