In Jungle Book, I could tell the boy was real and the animals were CGI, but the landscape and accessories I could not tell.
For example, Mowgli handles various vines and baskets. Are those real? What about all the plants and trees?
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All the locations in the movie are CGI. Favreau mentions this while answering questions on twitter.
@MonkeyBoy1138 How many of the locations were real, and how many are cgi? They’re looking pretty authentic.
Jon Favreau: None are real. All are CGI. The whole movie was shot in downtown LA. … Mowgli floating down the river on Baloo’s belly singing was difficult to recreate with real physics. Lots of R&D
Source Independent UK :
Interview of Neel Sethi (Mowgli) :
Sethi(Mowgli) tells an anecdote from filming his favourite scene, when Mowgli is sat on Baloo’s chest, swimming down a river and singing the “Bare Necessities”.
“It is a real scene," he says. "There’s a lump of Styrofoam with a piece of carpet on top. It kinda looks like Baloo, which is kinda creepy, but it really looked like that. I was patting it, and I would jump in the water sometimes.” While he was sat on the belly, Favreau was acting as Baloo's head and arms, singing along and splashing water up at Sethi. “It was a lot of fun,” Sethi adds.
“Sometimes they would scan this stuff, create the set and replay it. If there’s somewhere I go more than once, they can make the set, scan it, and then just put a blue screen there. It will look exactly the same. The film itself is stunning; it is hard to believe it was all shot on a soundstage in LA with the majority of the jungle created in blue screen.
“We didn’t go out to the jungle at all,” Sethi says. “I was just in New York - that’s where I live - and flew to LA and that was just it. It was all blue screen so there was no need for a jungle. Sometimes there was set there; anything I was touching or reacting with was actually there. They had dirt, and soil, and grass, and trees.
“The hardest part to get right was this bit in the mud, where buffalo are charging at me. I’m not used to the mud. I have to act likes it is a normal thing, getting run over by buffalo. So I just had to act like the buffalo was a problem and not the mud, but it was the mud that was the problem and not the buffalo.
“It would dry everywhere on me because I’m just wearing a diaper. Then they would have to spray me with cold water [pretends to spray water], and if I rubbed it the makeup would come off and there would be another 40 minutes putting back on