The story demanded that we build a vast and complex world, immense enough to host the action of large predator cities engaged in high-speed hunts and detailed enough to capture the human moments. Under the guidance of Visual Effects Supervisors Ken McGaugh, Kevin Smith, and Luke Millar, and Animation Supervisor Dennis Yoo, we created 1678 VFX shots for Mortal Engines, 378 of which are fully CG.
Our greatest challenge was the city of London. It is entirely different to any city we have built before, being built upon wheels and continuously under the forces of motion. We assembled it from 113 hand-crafted sections, which were independently animated to simulate the giant moving city careering at 300 kilometres per hour across a craggy landscape.
One of the most intriguing characters in the film is Hester Shaw’s unlikely father figure—a resurrected soldier who is part corpse, part machine. The nine-foot bounty hunter Shrike is terrifying, but his humanity is gradually revealed. His distinctive motion and performance, and the reveal of his true character could not have been captured with mocap and was instead expertly keyframed by our Animation team.