Imageworks VFX Supervisor Jerome Chen Talks About Bringing The Lizard To Life

Imageworks VFX Supervisor Jerome Chen Talks About Bringing The Lizard To Life

The Lizard is brought to life in The Amazing Spider-Man entirely through the use of visual effects, so how did Jerome Chen and his team go about making the villain as look as realistic as possible? Read on for details.

Jerome Chen, an Academy Award-nominated VFX supervisor who has been with Imageworks since its founding 20 years ago, had this to say about bringing the villain to life on the big screen with the use of visual effects. "He’s such an iconic villain from the comic books. And there have been so many variations - our departure point started with a beautiful sculpt done at Legacy. Our Lizard was almost nine feet tall, muscular and powerful, with a sweeping tail. The face is humanoid, which was important to provide us with a connection to the human Dr. Connors, as performed by Rhys Ifans."

"Marc wanted the Lizard’s skin to have loose folds – like a Komodo Dragon – but still feel the power of the muscles moving beneath them," he said about the work which went into adding the incredible detail to the look of the Lizard. "I was taught that the key to making an animated character believable is that the audience has to see that this character is thinking. And our access point was Rhys Ifans. When he’s in Lizard mode, what’s his thought process? What would his performance be like?" Of course, this involved working closely with the actor and video reference became an essential tool for the animators. "Marc directed Rhys during the key emotive moments when the Lizard was on screen. Though the Lizard rarely speaks in the film, there are many moments where we have to read his eyes and his expression."

For the action scenes, a seven foot tall stuntman (dressed entirely in black so he could be removed during post production) was used to portray the nine-foot-tall Lizard. He would then grapple with Andrew Garfield, meaning that the villain could be digitally inserted and would match up with the stuntman's motions in order to create an entirely authentic looking battle. Is the Lizard one of the things you're most looking forward to seeing in The Amazing Spider-Man? Sound off with your thoughts in the usual place.

The Amazing Spider-Man is the story of Peter Parker (Garfield), an outcast high schooler who was abandoned by his parents as a boy, leaving him to be raised by his Uncle Ben (Sheen) and Aunt May (Field). Like most teenagers, Peter is trying to figure out who he is and how he got to be the person he is today. Peter is also finding his way with his first high school crush, Gwen Stacy (Stone), and together, they struggle with love, commitment, and secrets. As Peter discovers a mysterious briefcase that belonged to his father, he begins a quest to understand his parents' disappearance - leading him directly to Oscorp and the lab of Dr Curt Connors (Ifans), his father's former partner. As Spider-Man is set on a collision course with Connors' alter-ego, The Lizard, Peter will make life-altering choices to use his powers and shape his destiny to become a hero.


Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker/Spider-Man
Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy
Rhys Ifans as Curt Connors/The Lizard
Martin Sheen as Uncle Ben
Sally Fields as Aunt May
Denis Leary as George Stacy

RELEASE DATE: July 3rd, 2012.

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