Watch as the Star Wars: The Last Jedi VFX Team Morphs Andy Serkis into Snoke

Few things in life are more mesmerizing than watching Andy Serkis’ motion capture performance transform into the final character. Yesterday, we had an in-depth discussion with the VFX team from War for the Planet of the Apes. There’s so much cool technology here and it is incredible how all of the pieces come together. The VFX wizards at Industrial Light & Magic have pulled the curtain back now on Serkis’ performance as Snoke in Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

There are multiple layers here to digest. First is the onset performance that involves Serkis standing on a platform, a Snoke puppet, and a stand in actor. In some instances, Serkis was actually interacting with Daisy Ridley as Rey and Adam Driver as Kylo Ren. In others, they were given visual props to help them in their scenes.

The next step was creating a 3D model of the character from every angle and in every lighting. Snoke’s not the best looking guy around, and we get some real close ups of his every wrinkle and scar. The team also made a model of Andy Serkis’ head in order to be able to morph one into the other.

Most interesting of all is the progression from performance to the different design layers. We get a side by side of the before and after and begin to gain an appreciation for just how talented this team really is. Serkis’ performance is crucial and the VFX team is able to entirely transplant his performance into a new face without losing the nuance. This is crazy stuff.

Ben Morris, Mike Mulholland, Neal Scanlan and Chris Corbould are nominated for VFX Oscars for their work on The Last Jedi, alongside some other incredibly talented teams on other films.

Featured Image: Andy Serkis as Snoke in Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Courtesy: Walt Disney Studios and Lucasfilm


Kelle Long

Kelle has written about film and TV for The Credits since 2016. Follow her on Twitter @molaitdc for interviews with really cool film and TV artists and only occasional outbursts about Broadway, tennis, and country music. Please no talking or texting during the movie. Unless it is a musical, then sing along loudly.