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Re: Disney's upcoming

>If it is Disney and with cartoon like material in it be sure it will 
>talking dinosaurs in it.  Does anyone know if there was any 
>consultation as to Dinosaur anatomy, looks, et cetera?  Hollywood tends 
>forget reality sometimes for the sake of theaters.
>~Brandon Haist

Just wanted to reply to this string...

I am both an animator and a paleo-artist and I have a somewhat different 
perspective on the the reconstructed appearance of dinosaurs in film 
than that of individuals who are strictly animators or 

First of all, the information that I have on the aforementioned dinosaur 
film (from an animator friend actually working on this feature) is that 
the dinosaur characters are CGI composited over live-action background 
plates.  I also recall him mentioning that professional paleo folks were 
consulted, but I have no specifics.

Secondly, whether you are doing a live-action film or an animated 
feature, you are creating _characters_, and therefore must define them 
as individuals through characterization.  Variation in appearance is one 
way this can be done.

We have fossil dinosaur evidence that includes skeletal and skin texture 
information; clues to diet, weight, walking speed, etcetera.
However, many aspects of anatomy and specific appearance remain tenuous, 
such as: skin color, sounds made, differences due to sexual dimorphism, 
specific behaviors, and the like. Not to mention how physical 
deformities change the way a creature may look and move.
An adult male Albertosaurus with orange and green "camouflage" skin 
markings and his right eye missing from a previous fight is certainly a 
more interesting "character" than the dinosaurs found in the Jurassic 
Park films.

Don't get me wrong, though!  I'm all for proper anatomical 
reconstruction of extinct creatures, but you can still put together an 
animal whose bones and muscles are in all the right places (so far as we 
know) and still make it interesting.

How many reconstructed versions of T. rex have we seen?  Is just one of 
them "correct"?  I seem to recall that the Horner version pictured in 
"The Complete T-rex" as being different than Dr. Bakker's look for the 
beast.  Another example of "one set of fossil evidence=a bunch of 
theories on its interpretation"?

The bottom line is that you can be anatomically correct in restoration 
_and_ interesting at the same time.

Now, as far as the dinosaurs actually talking (which they will in the 
Disney film)...that's a whole other posting. ;)

--Kevin Hedgpeth

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