London-based visual effects company Cinesite helped bring RoboCop’s suit to life in the new film, which was released today.
The production VFX producer and supervisor on the film, Dean Write and James E. Price, enlisted the help of Cinesite VFX supervisor Simon Stanley-Clamp and his team to perfect RoboCop’s suit.
The film, which is a remake of the 1987 original and the fourth RoboCop film to date, sees Alex Murphy turned become part-man, part-robot police officer after he suffers a critical injury. The suit is an integral part of the story, giving Alex enhanced capabilities including superhuman strength and brain power.
Cinesite, which has previously worked on World War Z, Iron Man 3, Skyfall and more, helped to shape RoboCop’s silhouette and add internal mechanics to specific areas including the shoulders, neck, elbows and knees.
Cinesite created a CG version of the suit that was used to replace the original entirely in most cases, as it was more time- and cost-effective than replacing particular portions of the suit.
“The first stage in the process involved creating a clean plate by removing the whole suit from the head down,” says Cinesite. “A CG suit was rigged and animated to enhance RoboCop’s mechanical gait and robotic movements from the actor’s original performance.”
“Having a real suit as a reference was helpful for texturing and lighting the CG,” Cinesite adds. “For a few shots the team also created a damaged version of the suit, complete with dirt and tiny scratches.”