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Velociraptor (Film Universe)
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There are three distinct variations of Velociraptor which were cloned by InGen, not counting sexual dimorphism seen within each individual version. However, despite the surface level variations, each sub-species remains relatively similiar in terms of physical attributes. Each species is roughly 6 feet tall…

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The Fallen Kingdom Tyrannosaurus Rex Animatronic Has NOT Been Replaced by CGI

Update – Colin Trevorrow has confirmed that the animatronic remains in the film!

Editors Note:

Shortly after the article was posted, the heavy influx of traffic caused Jurassic Outpost to go down.

As such, the discussion thereafter primarily stemmed from the articles title, and not the content within. I had the intention shortly after the article was published to make some small alterations to more clearly articulate why these controversial shots may exist, and that they may not represent the shots in the feature (something Marcus’ article already did).

Due the website going down, the revisions were not made possible until now, after Colin Trevorrow confirmed the animatronic shots remain in the film.

I’ve said this on my personal accounts many times, but my main concern with the apparent change wasn’t that it’s CG, but the fact that the new CG looks so bad and is an evolution from a shot that previously looked so good.

Obviously I’m a fan of animatronics, and when they’re used right, they look amazing and timeless. Sometimes they don’t look great though (Spinosaurus in JP3 looks quite robotic and fake for instance).

I’ve had no complaints about the Indoraptor animatronic being replaced by CG, because the CG looks incredible – something the article already pointed out.

Circling back to the Rex, if the previous shot was CG, and it looked great, I’d assume an old shot was mistakenly used. But you just don’t mistakenly render CG for a shot that was an animatronic prior, so this footage certainly is ‘new’ to an extent. However, it is possible the CGI variation was not made for the film.

As the new Rex CG is inconsistent with the quality displayed elsewhere, I theorized that this shot was not from the film, & is a weird promo remix where the Rex transitions into a shot not from the film but rather from a commercial, and it was mistakenly used here.

The CG overlay would make sense for ad consistency, so the Rex remained the same in all shots of the ad. As of now, it remains unclear if this a closer explanation for the footage, or if however unlikely, the animatronic nearly was replaced.

Due to the fact the website was down forcing the conversation around the articles first title only, and comments were spiraling out of control, I removed the original social media postings to better relay the facts, or lack thereof.

The point of a fan site is to facilitate discussion and highlight news that revolves around subjects fans are passionate about. While this typically is good news, it sometimes means subjects such as the original article will be featured. As the news became so sensationalized shortly after, I felt it was important to highlight these elements to better generate positive, healthy discussion inside these comments and elsewhere.

– Chris

Original Article:

We’re a month and a half away from the release of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. That means that the movie is either a wrap, or darn close. With this movie we are told to have dinos and animatronics aplenty. There has been one slight change, however. It appears as of the most recent Fallen Kingdom tv spot, Rexy has…changed?

Early trailers featured a beautiful up close and personal look at the Tyrannosaurus Rex animatronic, where shots were mostly practical with occasional CG touch ups. However, the most recent tv spot boasts an entirely CGI-ed Rexy, and it… does not look so great.

Check out the TV spot below:

Did you catch the changes? The trailer moves pretty fast, so we’ve grabbed them and made some handy gifs for comparison:

Every trailer and tv spot we’ve been shown, in my opinion, has shown off some fantastic animatronics and CG (with the exception of that shot of a snarling Blue). The Carnotaurus, stampede, and the Mosasaur look incredible. The CGI overhaul of the Rexy animatronic on the other hand, leaves me confused and disappointed.

This move leaves me wondering why an animatronic for Rexy was built in the first place. I am assuming that this may be the only shot in the film where it was to be used. So, if they are just going to essentially paint over it on a computer, why even make it? For Jurassic World, with some shots similar to this one, they had puppets made as a stand in, and then CG-ed over those. If the intent was always to replace the pratical effect with CGI, a more basic approach like that would have been taken.

What’s particularly frustrating is the new CGI doesn’t look good, at all – and sadly studios are known for sometimes replacing beautiful practical effects with rushed digital counterparts (See the Thing Thing 2011 and ADI’s involvement). The complaint isn’t that CG is being used, but rather the downgrade in terms of quality. In contrast, when they replaced the Indoraptor animatronic, the new CG was strikingly realistic:

Don’t get me wrong, I have faith that the movie is going to be jaw-dropping. Colin Trevorrow, JA Bayona and their team have shown us its potential. But I have to admit, this has me a little nervous. If we would have been shown this in December, I wouldn’t have thought anything of it. Today is May 6th. Here’s to hoping that this is just a stand in shot not meant for trailers, and the original animatronic shot still remains!

Sound off in the comments below, and let us know what you think of this apparent change.

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35 thoughts on “The Fallen Kingdom Tyrannosaurus Rex Animatronic Has NOT Been Replaced by CGI

  1. Wasn’t the thing prequel also universal studios? They did the EXACT same thing with that movie. The director insisted on practical effects, they spent all this money and time making incredible practical effects using animatronic, then universal had literally every single scene painted over with CGI. Which was one of the single biggest criticisms of the finished film. It looks like universal have gone and made the exact same mistake with this film. They must not be listening to fans after all. The director listened to fans, but clearly universal decided that they wanted it to be purely CGI. If they did this with the T-rex scene, then they probably did it with every practical effect shot. Up until now even the most recent trailers featured an animatronic t-rex. Very odd decision to do this, but I wouldn’t put it past universal. I really hope this was only done for the trailer. If not…then universal really blew it. It makes no sense. It looks worse. Animatronics is what people want. A mix of Animatronics and CGI. Why spend the time and money on doing an animatronic t-rex for a scene that was done specifically so they could include an animatronic, only to paint over it with very poorly done CGI in the last month before release. Who is the genius making these decisions?

    1. It’s funny – the internet was already blowing up about this subject before I saw the images, and before there was an article on Jurassic Outpost. I initially believed there was no way the shots were from the film (something that ended up being the case) – but then I remembered The Thing (2011) and temporarily lost hope.

    1. I will never understand why people will constantly try to devalue the merits of caring for a films visuals, when those visuals are part of the art form which stories are told.

      1. Cinema is first and foremost a visual medium. It is called MOTION PICTURE! It was developed to project images that feel like they were moving, like real life. Sound came later. As for story, there are other forms of storytelling, like novels, short stories, radio plays, etc.

      2. I guess those people are ok with having just b movies.. good for them.. but if it wasn’t for the ones that take visual effects and aesthetics seriously, every movie will be pure shit.. since the studios would do the less they can as soon as people consume the product without complains

  2. People say that the JP fandom is a bit too prone to mobbing at the slightest problem, but hey, it seems to work! First Sinoceratops, then mainstreet, now Rexy, complaining works people!

  3. We also have the animatronics of Blue and a stegosaurus in the movie, if not more. I hope Universal Pictures did not force Bayona to CGI over those.

  4. Stop calling it “rexy”. It sounds stupid and childish. I don’t care if it was in the novel it was dumb there and that’s why it’s never made it on screen and will never.

    1. The only other name we officially have other than “original T. rex” is Rexy because of Colin Trevorrow. It doesn’t sound stupid, it sounds like the nickname for an actual animal. Roberta or whatever was scribbled on a 25 year old storyboard doesn’t count and maker her sound like a dying grandma.

  5. It is as simple as this: There is nothing wrong with using CGI AS LONG AS IT LOOKS REAL. Today’s audiences are HYPER sensitive to CGI and can pick it a mile off. So it either has to be life-like or it has to be animatronic. And the animatronics have to look amazing too. Ultimately, films simply have to look AMAZING or else people will pick them apart. If you aren’t consistent or thorough, it will get torn to shreds.

  6. We clearly dodged a bullet here. It’s obvious the Rex was almost replaced with CG last minute, and the filmmakers won out in favor of the animatronic.

    There is nothing wrong with CG, but when studios dictate it over an already established practical shot, you can bet it will not look as good, and be a let down.

    If you don’t believe something like that could happen, watch this video about The Thing (2011) and remember it was Universal who forced the change. As someone who works in CG on blockbusters, but also adores practical effects and wish they were used more, let me just say.. studio execs aren’t your friends. they live in a bubble and make boneheaded decisions that destroy artistic integrity and cost everyone money

  7. It’s kinda funny how Marcus seems to have perceived the original eye shot as being the animatronic when it seemed obvious that it was ovelaid CGI in the first place. If this newly unveiled version truly is the animatronic(which it appears to be) it will surely look more acceptable in the context of the scene.

    1. Original eye shot was practical – it’s plausible the eyeball itself had CG adjustments though, however BTS material suggests that is its authentic appearance.

      For reference:

      vs

    2. No I knew the original eye shot was CG-ed but, as Chris mentioned for other CG shots, looked very very good. So I, along with many others, were very confused as to why they would CG everything else in the shot.

  8. Remember when Collin said animatronics were dead a few years ago on Twitter and Spielberg shot him down haha

  9. Thankfully, there will be Trex animatronic in the movie, I hope Blue’s animatronic will be there as well. Filmmakers cannot let Universal win the fight in this and in the next JW’s movie. That CGI replacement is so awful and it screams “I am not real!”.

    Too bad animatronic Indoraptor won’t make it in the movie. At least actors had easier job during fliming. It seems they didn’t finalise the design of it before making an animatronic model, thus it was replaced by CGI. Tho, CGI Indoraptor in posted screenshot looks better.

  10. I’m expecting 90% of the film to be CG. Blue will be the only animatronic and maybe a sedated Rexy in a few wider shots… But that’s it.

    I’ll never forget the Bird in JW. As soon as I saw the Bird, I knew it was all over for Jurassic.

    1. Dreading the chaos that is going to ensue after this film hits theatres and everyone sees all the paint overs… Colin is going to release some line about Universal calling the shots and him being powerless to fight ‘the nature of the beast’… Eurgh… I hope I’m wrong.

      1. The effects will look fine. Some of the cgi shots look like animatronic shots because they were based on animatronics. The Indoraptor closeups are undistinguishable from practical effects.

  11. I reckon Bayona pulled a blinder here to get animatronic shots left in the film. And here’s how.

    Back in the 1950s and early 1960s, Alfred Hitchcock often had an issue with the MPAA due to the Production Code. In order to keep in shots he knew they would complain about, he would create even more controversial shots that he would either agree to cut out, or barter to cut out so he could leave in the ones he actually wanted.

    So looking at this, I like to think Bayona was forced to have CGI work done on these shots, but made sure the graphics were so dire and cheap that the studio has agreed to let them keep the original shots!

  12. There’s nothing wrong with the Spinosaurus animatronic from JP3. Stop hating on it for the sake of hating on anything related to the spinosaurus. If anything looked robotic it’s the dying apatosaurus from Jurassic World and would’ve made a far better example.

    1. Honestly I think the problem with the spinosaur animatronic was the way in which it was framed. A better director of photography would have sold it.

  13. I don’t trust Treverrow farther than I can throw him. He said the same about having actual physical doors for the park and completely CGI’d them in JW. That is unforgivable, it looked heinous and completely contrasted all the reality that was juxtaposed with it. The laziness and greed of Hollywood never ceases to amaze me. How does the animatronic eye NOT look good?! You had them CGI that crap after the fact, Colin? Why? It’s so obvious which is better.

  14. People on here hahahahaha, listen a lot of the practical effects are going to be helped by CGI. It is that simple. People really need to stop complaining so much and just wait to see the movie. And don’t talk like you know everything in the movie is going to be CGI when you don’t. Colin said that they were going to use a lot more practical effect then they did in Jurassic World, That is all he said, he never said the whole thing would be practical.

  15. Greetings! I really loved that movie and am overjoyed about this majestic animatronic creation. May I know its size and weight? The original one, from the first movie, was said to have been a 40-ft., 18,000 lb. wonder. Would love to hear other details of its creation such as the materials used, etc.

    Best of wishes,
    Lonious

  16. I’m sorry to say the t-Rex eye was indeed replaced by a cgi eye. A friend of mine at ILM worked on the shot. I know everyone wants to believe it’s practical. But it isn’t. You can see in the post above that the fake rubber eye shot doesn’t hold up.

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