Tyrannosaurus rex

This weekend, "Jurassic Park" celebrates its 20th anniversary with a 3D re-release likely to captivate and terrify audiences just as it did in 1993. During the development of the film "Jurassic Park," director Steven Spielberg enlisted the team at Stan Winston Studio to design and build many of the realistic-looking dinosaurs seen in the movie.

Surprisingly, "Jurassic Park" contains only 15 total minutes of dinosaur footage, and 9 minutes of those are purely the work of Stan Winston Studio. Winston, who died in 2008, was instrumental in many blockbusters, winning Academy Awards for best visual effects in "Aliens," "Terminator 2: Judgement Day," and "Jurassic Park." We look at a few special behind-the-scenes images and videos captured while Winston's studio created the Tyrannosaurus rex, Brachiosaurus, Velociraptor, and Dilophosaurus.

According to the Stan Winston School blog, Spielberg courted Winston to do a large portion of the "Jurassic Park" special effects after his work on the alien queen in "Aliens."

"Steven figured that if we could build a 14-foot-tall alien queen, we'd be able to build a 20-foot-tall T.rex," Winston said at the time. "But that was a somewhat naive assumption on Steven's part. There was a big difference between building that alien queen and building a full-size dinosaur. The queen was exoskeletal, so all of its surfaces were hard. There were no muscles, no flesh, and there was no real weight to it. The alien queen also didn't have to look like a real, organic animal because it was a fictional character -- so there was nothing in real life to compare it to. There was just no comparison in the difficulty level of building that alien queen and building a full-size dinosaur."

When Spielberg asked Winston if he wanted the job, Winston recalled saying, "Yes, absolutely." Spielberg said, "How are you going to do it?" Winston replied, "I haven't got a clue. But we'll figure it out."

This image shows the framework of an early pre-production one-fifth-scale T.rex sculpting stand. After applying clay to achieve the desired form, the model serves as a reference during sculpting a full-size puppet. Animators at Industrial Light and Magic also scan the model and embed that likeness into digital shots.

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Photo by: Stan Winston School of Character Arts / Caption by:

Tyrannosaurus rex, part 2

Mike Trcic, a "Jurassic Park" sculptor, adds final changes to the one-fifth scale T.rex clay model.
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Photo by: Stan Winston School of Character Arts / Caption by:

Tyrannosaurus rex, part 3

To create a realistic 20-foot tall and 40-foot wide T.rex, animatronic gurus Richard Davison and Alan Scott attach plywood segments to an aluminum frame. From there, workers will apply a layer of chicken wire, seal everything with liquid fiberglass, and then apply 3 tons of Roma clay.
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Photo by: Stan Winston School of Character Arts / Caption by:

Tyrannosaurus rex, part 4

After a generous application of clay, the T.rex model becomes much more recognizable. Trcic, who spent 16 weeks sculpting various iterations of the enormous dinosaur, adds some finer elements to the T.rex visage.

"Before we ever got to mechanizing the dinosaurs, their look was tweaked and re-tweaked," artist Paul Mejias said. "I remember Stan and sculptor Mike Trcic spending tons of time on the T.rex head, for example. There were 13 different permutations of that head in maquette form, because Stan wanted something very specific, and he wasn't going to stop until he got it. He did that on all the dinosaurs. They had to be right, no matter what it took, no matter how much it cost, no matter how many people he had to hire. They had to be perfect."

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Photo by: Stan Winston School of Character Arts / Caption by:

Tyrannosaurus rex, part 5

Artist Greg Figiel compares the one-fifth-scale scale T.rex arm to the full-size model.
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Tyrannosaurus rex, part 6

You can truly get a feel for the epic size of the full-size T.rex model -- the largest ever made in the history of Stan Winston Studio -- as it stands near its one-fifth-scale equivalent.

Key members of the team behind the full-size animatronic T.Rex discuss and show exclusive footage from the creation process in this incredible 9-minute behind the scenes video:

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Tyrannosaurus rex, part 7

This image reveals the full studio set used for the iconic nighttime scene where audiences get their first terror-inducing view of a "Jurassic Park" T.rex. Watch the animatronic T.Rex going through rehearsals before shooting:

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Brachiosaurus

Artist Mark "Crash" McCreery's early rendering of a "Jurassic Park" Brachiosaurus.
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Brachiosaurus, part 2

A four-axis jaw enabled the Brachiosaurus to look more real as it chewed on fauna in "Jurassic Park."

"Stan Winston wanted the Brach to appear to be as docile as possible, so one of the things that a four-axis jaw gives you is that sort of orbital movement of the lower jaw grinding side to side which is reminiscent of a cow chewing its cud,” said Andy Schoneberg, the lead artist for the vegetarian dinosaur.

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Brachiosaurus, part 3

Here's an image of the finished Brachiosaurus puppet awaiting its on-set debut. "I think there were six of us altogether puppeteering on the Brach," said lead artist Andy Schoneberg. "There was someone on the eyes, someone on the tongue, I was on the jaw movement. There's someone on the lips. And the big move was the neck movement. There was head movement but there was also neck movement where the whole thing could pitch forward and back."

You can observe more of the dinosaur in the rehearsal video below.

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Brachiosaurus, part 4

Legendary special-effects master Stan Winston marvels at the 7.5-foot-tall Brachiosaurus puppet on the set of "Jurassic Park."
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Velociraptor

The fearsome "Jurassic Park" Velociraptor originated in a one-fifth-scale model created by artist Christopher Swift.
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Velociraptor, part 2

Stan Winston Studios chose supervisor John Rosengrant as the lead performer for the raptor suit. Artists sculpted the raptor around a body cast of Rosengrant.
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Velociraptor, part 3

John Rosengrant tries doing his best raptor impersonation within a foam test suit. "I had always wanted to perform in suits," Rosengrant said. "I think to do it well, you have to be a bit of an actor -- although, the characters we play usually have a singular mission, which is to kill something. 'Must eat. Must destroy.' There isn't a lot of deep psychological acting going on there! But I do think it requires some very good physical acting to do this work.”

Throughout production, Rosengrant often stayed in the dinosaur suit for hours at a time, hunched over in a skiing pose.

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Velociraptor, part 6

A worker at the studio makes some adjustments to the raptor's gums and teeth.
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Velociraptor, part 4

The raptor suit comes together as artist Beth Hathway adjusts the foam latex skin.
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Velociraptor, part 5

Stan Winston Studio created many raptors for "Jurassic Park," with variations that included full-size cable-controlled puppets, half-puppets, insert legs, and men in suits. This image shows a final version of the suit. Rosengrant speaks more about how the iconic special-effects studio created the raptor in the following video.

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Photo by: Stan Winston School of Character Arts / Caption by:

Dilophosaurus (Spitter)

Artist Mark "Crash" McCreery's conceptual drawing of Dilophosaurus (aka Spitter) perfectly captures the curiosity of the beast seen in "Jurassic Park."
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Dilophosaurus (Spitter), part 2

After the Stan Winston Studio reached a middle ground with the conceptual drawings, Shane Mahan sculpted a full-size Dilophosaurus.
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Dilophosaurus (Spitter), part 3

This image shows Shane Mahan adding finer details to the peculiar face of the Spitter.
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Dilophosaurus (Spitter), part 4

This rendition became the primary color scheme used for the Dilophosaurus' cowl.
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Dilophosaurus (Spitter), part 5

Shane Mahan works on the final Spitter puppet that audiences see in "Jurassic Park." The Stan Winston Studio used a system of interchangeable heads for the dinosaur to make scene transition easier. The Dilophosaurus' infamous projectile poison spit comes from a paintball mechanism that blasted out a mixture of methacyl, K-Y Jelly, and some food coloring.

The video below reveals more about the complexities of creating and playing a Dilophosaurus in "Jurassic Park":

In several feature-length blog posts, Stan Winston School of Character Arts reflects further on the making of the T.rex, Velociraptors, Brachiosaurus, and Dilophosaurus (aka Spitter).

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Photo by: Stan Winston School of Character Arts / Caption by:
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