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SCOOBY-DOO

About The Special Effects
To create the first-ever live-action adaptation of the world's most beloved dog, cartoon icon Scooby-Doo, the filmmakers seamlessly brought the characteristics of the animated crime-fighting pooch into a new dimension though the use of state-of-the-art computer generated imagery (CGI).

"Scooby is the central character in the movie and a large amount of the inertia, the thrust of the movie, is born out of his look and mannerisms," Visual Effects Supervisor Peter Crosman explains. "A full palette of CGI options is a virtually limitless way for us to create Scooby's persona, allowing us to infuse him with his cartoon characteristics – especially his facial expressions, his jaw structure and smile—and still make him look realistic."

From the beginning of production, director Raja Gosnell emphasized that the three-dimensional star of the film must be both believable and true to character. "Scooby has to walk and talk and interact with his human co-stars and perform other humanistic actions, but at the end of the day, he must feel like a real dog and also exhibit all the charm, humor and mannerisms that we associate with Scooby-Doo," Gosnell says.

"Creating a principal CGI character, especially one like Scooby-Doo, who interacts with a real environment and human co-stars – combined with the additional quixotic component of humor – has been an enormous challenge," says Crosman. "It's only in the last two or three years that it has become technologically possible to do so. With Scooby, we had the added pressure of meeting the expectations of all the Scooby fans out there."

The intricate process of creating a 3-D Scooby-Doo began with the complex task of developing his look. To protect the integrity of the cartoon while composing Scooby-Doo's three-dimensional life, Crosman and his Visual Effects team endeavored to hybridize the characteristics of a real Great Dane with the cartoon dog. "Scooby has an unlimited amount of facial expressions, just like a human actor, so he needed to be built correctly in terms of the muscle structure in his face, in his ears and eyes," Crosman reports. "Visual effect house Rhythm and Hues created a biological Scooby: his bones, muscles, eye color, and ears, retaining his inherent color, as well as the tell-tale spots on his body, his bent ear and elongated dopey walk. Then we brought in his personality and facial expressions."

Once Scooby's look was perfected, the Visual Effects team used story-boarded concepts for the superhound's scenes as guidelines to complete each phase of the CGI process. Backgrounds for these scenes were filmed; then reference points for Scooby were inserted into the shots and temporary animation "dropped in" to ensure that, as Crosman stresses, "the proposed CGI shots stayed true to the mannerisms and intent of Scooby's character." After each sequence was thoroughly reviewed and approved by the filmmakers, the VFX artists generated a final rendering with the appropriate verisimilitude of fur, eyes, positioning of the tongue, etc. for an accurate multi-textured creation of the three-dimensional Scooby-Doo.

Because CGI effects are added after filming, the actors were often faced with the challenge of working without a physical Scooby-Doo on the set. As Sarah Michelle Gellar reports, "Working ‘with' Scooby has taken a lot of imagination and coordination with the other actors. We all have to be in sync, asking

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