CNET News Video: Behind the scenes of "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes"
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CNET News Video: Behind the scenes of "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes"

1:37 /

In the latest "Planet of the Apes" movie, actors played the apes but don't actually appear on screen. Instead, they wore high-tech body suits so cameras could record their body and facial movements in a system called performance capture. CNET's Kara Tsuboi explains how Oscar-winning visual effects artist Joe Letteri made the computer-generated apes come to life.

[MUSIC]. In the new Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, the apes have a human quality in their facial expressions and movements. Oh, you want a drink? But the actors who play the apes aren't in heavy makeup and don't appear on screen. Caesar. A high tech system called Performance Capture allows filmmakers to record. Not only actors body movements, but also their facial expressions. And then, later on, computer generated effects. You think about the performance capture, which is we put the actors in suits, with markers, and we put, camera's all around. To kinda record their performance. They'll wear a head ray, with a video, video camera, that allows us to record their facial performance. We have technology that allows us to simulate fur and. Muscle dynamics Oscar winning visual effects supervisor Joe Letteri used the same technique to give life to characters in Avatar, and the Hobbit, Desolation of Smaug. For this film he created new versions of the body suits, with markers embedded into foreign fitting molds to get more accurate recording. We now, try to figure out what makes it look real. Actress Karen [UNKNOWN] was transformed into Maurice. The helmet can get kind of, by the end of the day, you know get that thing off me, but other than that it's, it's actually you can. You forget about wearing it. The technology's also being used to give video games a more realistic feel, like the latest Call of Duty. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes opens in movie theaters July 11th. In San Francisco, I'm Kara Tsuboi, for CBS news

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