Categories: vfx

How 2018 Netflix Mowgli pushed VFX to a new level

We have no shortage of films associated with The Jungle Book and the famous Mowgli. Over years there have been animated shows, cartoon shows, films, short films and what not. Even recently we saw a fully fledged Jungle Book film which was all VFX. Famous actors like Scarlett Johansson and Idris Elba were a part of that.

In this article, however, we will be talking about something else altogether.

Mowgli: The Legend of the Jungle

Mowgli released on Netflix in December 2018 making it the most streamed film for a couple of days. This movie is completely different from what we have heard and seen in the old tales. Focusing more on Mowgli’s human aspect the visual effects of this film goes to another level.

One interesting thing that we do not consider is that Mowgli was not half human and half wolf. He is a complete human who happens to be raised by wolves. This amazing movie takes a dark turn and emphasizes more about the conflict which our protagonist goes through in this journey of life. His legendary tale has only been seen from the perspective of the jungle and not beyond that.

The film stars Rohan Chand, Matthew Rhys, and Freida Pinto, along with voice and motion capture performances from Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, Benedict Cumberbatch, Naomie Harris, and Serkis. Motion capture raises the question of visual effects.

Visual effects of this movie

Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle is a 2018 fantasy Netflix adventure film directed by Andy Serkis. Unlike the other animal sensory movies, this was not shot with just props and greens screens but a rather interesting concept. A majority of blue screens were used which gave it more ease while post-production.

The human village scenes were partly constructed but most of it was the work of VFX only.

It was the Framestore’s film team which took up the initiative for the VFX efforts collaboratively with Warner Bros. Framestore successfully delivered 1164 shots of CGI work for the entire movie. Netflix was also very apprehensive and highly impressed with the amazing response it still is getting in terms of the mind-blowing CGI.

In addition to Framestore, three other companies collaborated named– Rodeo, Vitality FX, Black Ginger) to complete the vast amount of visual effects needed for Mowgli. Rodeo FX delivered around 105 shots. They claimed that a lot of these shots made up for the major part of the climax.

The actors were put with sensory tracking and even tone costumes. Then in editing, the VFX artists manipulate their expressions and voice over to create the animals we see on the screen. Christian Bale himself said that it was an out of the world experience for him. To those, who haven’t watched the movie yet, it is high time you do.

The director, Andy Serkis has thanked the efforts of CGI time and again in all his interviews saying how this movie wouldn’t have been possible without its efforts.

A lot of people do not know that this movie was originally scheduled to be released in October 2016. It got delayed numerous times to work on the visual effects. It wanted to create some space between itself and the release of Jungle Book adaptation.

All the critics up until now have praised the visual effects of the film. Many students with VFX training have also started to practice such realistic art on screens.


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