Above: While a full-scale animatronic of the T. rex was on set, in this shot the dinosaur is all CGI. Images courtesy of Universal Studios, Amblin Entertainment and Legendary Pictures. © 2018 Universal Pictures.
Why are dinosaurs so popular? Perhaps simply because they’re big, bizarre, and terrifying. Scary, but extinct and therefore safe. Their anatomy is familiar yet exotic. They’re mysterious. They represent a deep history of our planet.
So, of course animators love them.
“Every animator’s dream is to work with dinosaurs,” says Industrial Light & Magic’s Jance Rubinchik, who supervised animation for Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. “A lot of guys will tell you that Jurassic Park, the original, got them into the industry and that is certainly true for me. It was a pivotal film for me as a kid; it had a huge impact. I thought, ‘I don’t know how to do that, but I need to learn.’”
And he did. Rubinchik graduated from Ringling College of Art and Design in 2004, worked as an animator in Orlando at Electronic Arts for a year, and then moved to Tippett Studios in California. Three years later, he joined Weta Digital in New Zealand where he was a senior lead animator for nearly six years. Then, he hopped over to ILM’s Singapore studio where he received an Annie nomination for Kong: Skull Island. In 2017, Rubinchik circumnavigated on to London to supervise animation forJurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.
J. A. Bayona directed Universal Pictures’ Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. ILM’s David Vickery supervised visual effects created by that studio’s artists and a group of subcontractors. Neal Scanlan’s team created and puppeteered animatronics. The filmmakers shot on location in Hawaii and England, and worked on sets at Pinewood Studios near London.
All told, Rubinchek estimates that there were probably 15 different dinosaurs in Fallen Kingdom including the crowd shots. ILM animators based in Vancouver and supervised by Glen McIntosh worked on the stampede sequences and the meeting between Blue and Owen; animators at ILM’s London studio handled the rest, including various shots with Blue, the trapped T. rex, the new hybrid Indoraptor, and the fight between Blue and the Indoraptor. All told, approximately 52 animators at ILM worked on the film.
“The movie centers on the relationship between Blue and Owen [Chris Pratt], but in the background, there’s a new dinosaur cooking up,” Rubinchek says. “We finally see Indo revealed and there’s a big showdown. Blue and Indoraptor are the main characters.”