Practical Creature FX Are Awesome! Watch “Underworld: Awakening – Building a Better Lycan”

A. Quinton — May. 11th 2012

I’ve always liked the Underworld werewolf aesthetic, which was originally developed and executed by Patrick Tatopoulos & crew. The Lycans are the polar opposite of the Twilight / True Blood “fluff-wolves” I detest – they’re big, hairy, and monstrous in a way that’s fantastically bestial. The task of bringing these big guys to life for Underworld: Awakening fell to the folks at MastersFX (based in the Vancouver area, which gives me fanboy “cool stuff in close proximity” paroxysms). Todd Masters and his staff had to evolve Tatopoulos’s design into something that would stand up to the unforgiving clarity of hi-def film, and if you’ve seen the film I think you’ll agree that they pulled it off with authority. If you want to get a better look at the Lycan suits used in Awakening and learn about the challenges of building, maintaining and performing in them, check out this extra from the Awakening Blu-ray release: Building A Better Lycan.

There’s so much great stuff crammed into this 10 minutes that I don’t even know where to begin. The detail on those suits are just incredible (those masks! those hands!), and it looks like the Lycan “performers” Richard Cetrone and Dan Payne had a lot of fun, despite the hardships of being stuck in skin-tight foam latex onesies for 12 hours at a time. Craig might not have been a fan of the film or the digital effects, but from the perspectives of craftsmanship and werewolf aesthetics, I think there’s a lot to like here. I’m going to pick up the Blu-ray this weekend, if only to watch Building A Better Lycan on something bigger than my Macbook. Many thanks to @Hoof_Pony for sending me the YouTube link!