The special effects artists at Tippet Studio talk about the work they did to bring the wolves in Breaking Dawn part 1 to life:
The film has a scene, set in a lumberyard, in which CGI wolves debate the merits of eating Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) and her unborn child. This is where you’ll want to pay attention.
Director Bill Condon called on Tippett Studio and its founder, Phil Tippett, to develop the whole lumberyard sequence from script to screen.
“The lumberyard sequence was great,” recalled visual effects supervisor Eric Leven. “It was first time in any of these movies that it was just the wolves in wolf form doing their wolf thing.”
Although the wolves communicate telepathically, the sequence remained dialogue-driven.
“We got into a recording room and assigned roles,” said lead animator Hans Brekke. “Then we took the dialogue track and started designing shots, which were loosely based on a storyboard sequence.”
Animators produced a computer-generated pre-visualization of all the lumberyard shots, ensuring that the “speaking” wolf (played by Ab Roller champion Taylor Lautner), would remain in the center of frame.