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Bringing Clickers to Life for The Last of Us HBO Show

Wētā FX showed how the infected were created for the fifth episode of the series.

The first season of HBO's The Last of Us has ended, but the details behind its production are still emerging. Wētā FX visual effects supervisor Simon Jung and animation supervisor Dennis Yoo shared the work that was done to recreate the infected in the fifth episode.

They told befores & afters that the final horrifying result had been achieved with live-action performers wearing prosthetics and make-up. The team used a photogrammetry booth to capture the infected and focused on Lidar and witness cameras.

Using motion capture, the actors tried to mimic erratic clicker behavior.

“From there,” said Yoo, “we actually sped it up. That first shot where you see the hordes of them running out of the pit, we sped our own motion up about 8% just to give it that unearthly feel. We got them running full tilt and acting all crazy, but then we also sped it up 8%.”

A massive bloater was one of the most impressive sights of the scene. The studio tried the prosthetics approach, but there still was a limit "to how you can perform with a massive suit like that on while still getting the weight, speed, and athleticism you need," according to Jung.

“We had a volume and we’d put little weights on the performer and do different things to make him feel heavier. We’d also enhance it a bit more with keyframing. A lot of it is keyframed, but the base of it is based on a capture,” explained Yoo.

Another memorable character was a child clicker, who was recreated using concept art and a model from Naughty Dog's concept artist. The actor wore a prosthetic head, but the team had to build the clicker's whole body later for the scene "where she jumps on Kathleen and starts mauling her".

If you'd like to learn more about the scene, read the full interview here. Also, don't forget to join our 80 Level Talent platform and our Telegram channel, follow us on Instagram and Twitter, where we share breakdowns, the latest news, awesome artworks, and more.

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