“Because the dogs had human traits about them we had a team of artists studying facial expressions and writing muscle codes that could be added into our pipeline,” continued Johnson. “We carefully studied Owen Wilson’s mannerisms and reflected this in the expressions we gave Marmaduke beyond simply making the dog talk. We were attempting to capture a real sense of Owen Wilson in a 200lb Great Dane.”
In many shots, Cinesite further defined Marmaduke by adding in 3D eyes and whiskers. “Using Cinesite’s hybrid texture projection and CG fur techniques allowed our talking animals to sit seamlessly alongside the production’s live-action animal performances,” added Johnson.
The final result was the creation of ten live-action dogs that have had CGI work seamlessly blended into their faces and around their necks to sit pixel by pixel alongside the real fur.
“It was great to work on our third canine project following the successes of Beverly Hills Chihuahua and Underdog,” said Antony Hunt, managing director at Cinesite. “Working on Marmaduke has allowed us to further develop our dog simulation pipeline, making it an incredibly innovative and powerful tool for us to rely upon for many projects to come.”
The film plays host to a raft of celebrity voices including Owen Wilson (Marmaduke), Steve Coogan (Raisin), Kiefer Sutherland (Bosco) and Fergie (Jezebel).