Benedict Cumberbatch's Impressive Motion Capture Performance For The Hobbit

I've never been too impressed with the job of an "actor." I guess I've always thought that most people are capable of acting (pretending), they've just never tried it. I just ran across Benedict Cumberbatch's motion capture performance for the Hobbit and I have to say I was impressed. 

In the video above you can see Cumberbatch's incredible performance which required him to crawl around the floor with a body suit, facial markers, and head mounted camera. For those of you (like me) who never actually saw the Hobbit, you can watch a quick clip about the creation of the dragon itself using the MoCap footage. 

​Of course the king of MoCap is Andy Serkis who played Gollum in Lord Of The Rings. In the video below you can see how the original Gollum was created and then how they made the computer generated character even better for the Hobbit films.


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Zoli Tarnavölgyi's picture

" I guess I've always thought that most people are capable of acting (pretending), they've just never tried it"
no offense, but this is a really naiv opinion... :-)

Maybe, but I've met a lot of really compelling liars in my day who are not professional actors.

Maciej Grałek's picture

yes Lee, no offense, but that is just ridicules ... also i think lying is not acting

How is lying convincingly not acting?

Maciej Grałek's picture

Following that logic, Benedict is convincingly lying...

Rob Mynard's picture

I would say that he is yeah, He's not really a giant dragon but he's trying to make you think he is.

Mihir Shah's picture

Lying is a little acting; but professional acting is a lot more then to just lie. Its like saying, 'every one with a camera phone is a photographer.' But we all know that a professional photographer is a little more then just a person with a camera... no?

Burt Johnson's picture

Yes, I came here to basically say what Zoll said. Acting is a really hard thing to do well. Very few people have the talent (and usually extensive training) to pull it off and make it believable. Being able to lie well is not even close to the same as being able to act well.

Look at most Latin American soap operas for a good example of bad acting. You look at it and instantly know they are acting out a script. Look at most American TV (where casting for various roles is a much more sophisticated process) and it is easy to believe you are peering into their actual lives.

Maybe I don't realize how difficult it is but I have always enjoyed Seinfeld's take on it.

Mihir Shah's picture

Well to be honest, the directors and writers should be celebrated far more. Actors do a great job bringing characters to life, but only if that life is created and directed well. that being said, acting is not just dressing up and pretending.

Normally, Stephen Colbert didn't cower from guests on his show; but he cowered when he interviewed Smaug!
He played a badass Khan in "Star Trek Into Darkness"

Anonymous's picture

I've never been too impressed with the job of a "photographer." I guess I've always thought that most people are capable of pushing a button, they've just never tried it. ;)

Zoli Tarnavölgyi's picture

Touchdown..! :-) At first, I wanted to write exatly the same.

was thinking the same thing

I am happy to admit that photography is easier than other forms of "art" like painting or playing an instrument.

Someone who has never acted in their entire life could potentially be a great actor. You might be born with a "great ear" but you aren't going to be playing in an orchestra without years of practice.

Zoli Tarnavölgyi's picture

Mozart was 5, when he had been already genius musician, how many years he had for practice? :-D so I think, if someone is talented in sg, it will show up soon, when he tries. it is also true for photography, or painting etc. and Lee, believe me, it's not enough to be talented at acting, there are a lot of things to learn in that profession too, rules, tricks, humbling... I have worked in theater for 20 years, I know.
...and you think photography is easier, because you are good at it! ;-) it's like that!

Zoli Tarnavölgyi's picture

More naiv thought, that if you can lie, you can act... :-) Yes, lying is a bit acting, but acting mostly is NOT lying! Far from it...