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The picture below shows a scene with a bear attacking Leonardo DiCaprio, who is playing Hugh Glass in the movie ' The Revenant'. How was the scene shot? Was the bear real?

enter image description here

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up vote 17 down vote accepted

Industrial Light and Magic were responsible for creating the CGI bear. Yeah, it's CGI and not in-fact a real bear. They used reference footage from actual bears, even including a bear attack filmed at a zoo where a drunken man stumbled into the sanctuary. They used a stunt man to literally throw Leo around and tear at him. This meant that painting out the stunt man would have taken an incredible amount of skill and time. Then all they'd have to do is put the CGI bear in. As you can tell, visual effects has come a long way. I wondered myself how they did this before looking up some of the visual effects techniques used. Props to ILM for their great work.

Here are some references for the above information. You'll find interesting comments on these links.

You can find the project on ILM's website (ilm.com) however there isn't much information on there yet. They usually wait a while before posing VFX breakdown videos, if at all.

A Variety article, which gives some insight into the shooting methods and conditions that they filmed in. Also, confirming that the bear is CGI and that "Inarritu had studied bear attacks on YouTube"

Indiewire article, which is rather more in-depth and talks about the technical aspects such as fur simulation, Maya for animation, and using RenderMan for rendering.

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The digital compositing, lighting, etc. is perfect. I'm surprised it's 100% CGI but not incredulous. – Todd Wilcox Jan 14 at 22:17
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I was hoping they fed Dicaprio to a bear. Shoot that scene last, of course. – John O Jan 19 at 21:20
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@JohnO Well, that would certainly have given him his Oscar finally. It wins on so many levels the Academy loves. It's a posthumous award and super authentic! – Napoleon Wilson Jan 20 at 0:16
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"a bear attack filmed at a zoo where a drunken man stumbled into the sanctuary" can you give a reference of that? – Marian Paździoch Mar 1 at 10:09
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@MarianPaździoch It's in the Indiewire article "A crucial reference, though, was online footage of an actual bear attack at a German zoo, in which a man drunkenly stumbled into the cage." Gathered from an interview with Richard McBride (VFX Production Supervisor at ILM who worked on this particular film) – Exploitable Mar 9 at 14:29

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