The last of us has completed its incredible first season and cemented itself as one of the greatest video game adaptations of all time. Part of what makes the HBO series stand out in bringing beloved games to television screens is the entire creative team’s commitment to staying true to the games while enhancing the story through a new medium. Creators of the series Craig Mazin and Neil Druckmann Druckmann and the team at Naughty Dog carefully crafted a story that closely followed the narrative already established in the game series, taking the opportunity to explore the inner lives of NPCs that you don’t see in the video game format. While the duo worked on the story, they relied on fantastic makeup and VFX teams to ensure the show’s visuals lived up to the hype of the game’s stunning animation.
Most recently, Collider’s Samantha Coley He sat down with the VFX supervisor Simon Jung and Animation manager Dennis Yoo Wētā’s incredible CGI work teamed up to create this amazing post-apocalyptic world and the monsters within. One of the most iconic monsters from Season 1 The last of us This is Episode 5 where Kathleen wreaks havoc on the people of Kansas City.Melanie Lynskey) takes his quest for revenge a step too far. In Coley’s interview with Jung and Yoo, the pair explained how they used CGI to enhance the bloater’s menacing qualities and make him a little less human.
on set The last of us He worked with an actor in prosthetic makeup to get the best possible performances on the day, but the publication realized “his proportions weren’t quite right. Even though he was a very tall guy, he still felt a little short for those guys,” Jung explained. Yoo explained, “One of the great things Craig [Mazin] he wasn’t happy with the suit it was the way he moved. And it makes sense. You’ve got a guy in a giant rubber suit, he’s going to move ridiculously.” With an actor in a suit, there’s always going to be limitations, but the team at Wētā were able to take that performance and make it look more games and a little “less human.”
The last of us How the VFX team created the massive Episode 5 scene
When the infected begin pouring out of the ground in the climactic moments of episode 5, the teeth create a terrifying scene as they attack everyone and start causing mass destruction. We get a few close-ups with the Bloater as he emerges from the ground, striking fear into the hearts of the audience, and then when he rips Perry (Jeffrey Pierce) head from his body. However, with Joel (Peter Pascal) bird’s-eye view of the carnage from the top floor of the house on the hill, we also get several shots of the crowd.
Yoo and Jung’s Wētā team had to make sure the Bloater knew what he was doing at all times to create a cohesive scene. To figure out how the Bloater would move in those crowd shots—and distinguish it from other infected types—the animators made a short cut using footage from the games to base the final creation on. “We ended up taking a lot of gameplay footage, obviously the so-called Bloater,” explained Yoo. He went on to say that they would “make it all up” to create a benchmark that they could show Mazin for feedback on and use that and his notes as a starting point to animate their Bloater.
You can watch Yoo and Jung’s work in this scene from episode 5 right now on HBO Max where the entire first season. The last of us is currently available for playback. Season 1 will be available on Digital and Blu-ray later this year. Don’t miss our full interview with Yoo and Jung for all the behind-the-scenes details The last of us‘ VFX work, but for now, you can check out our latest interview with Pascal as Season 2 begins filming.