Quantum Creation FX, Inc. prides itself on hand selecting artists, craftspeople, tradesmen, digital modelers, mechanical engineers, and specialty costumiers for each project awarded. This process of selection was highly critical when Quantum was recently awarded seven unique dinosaur creatures for the Jurassic World Live Tour.
Quantum’s portion of the dinosaur build included a total of twelve creatures and four props within an approximate eighteen month build schedule. Building these unique moving dinosaurs and amazing props is unprecedented in this time frame and especially given the amount of detail and complexity that was achieved for these type of creature characters.
The build schedule presented its own challenges and there was the added difficulty of how to stay true to the aesthetics and likeness of characters from a beloved franchise. In addition, Quantum had to deal with how to best minimize weight for the bunraku style creatures, and address how to best maintain these wonderful characters when they experienced general wear and tear traveling on the road.
Our team of leading industry professionals, artists, and artisans took on this task: by marrying traditional clay sculpture and 3D model printing to achieve a character’s likeness, practical mechanical engineers built aluminum and steel frame skeletons while experienced foam fabricators and creature builders constructed carbon fiber plates to mount subdermal moving muscle structures to creature frames, the team innovated a lightweight removable skin for the purpose of both removing and repairing skins for minor dings and scratches all the way to a full skin replacement. This full skin removal system for replacement and repair extended to each creature's head, hands and feet.
This dinosaur build featured a life size Stegosaurus and Triceratops with animatronic-cart driven, puppeteered functions totaling 18 different movements. Other characters included Jurassic World’s “Blue” Raptor character, Pack Raptors (three characters each), and The Tour’s lead character Jeanie the Troodon (with two additional understudies). Each were built in the bunraku style, with onboard screen/monitors for visual performance, camouflaged air vents for both air flow and peripheral vision, head/neck movement, arm movement, mouth and tail movement. All were controlled by the puppeteer/performer inside the creature with compact animatronics designed specifically for automatic “keep alive” eye movements.
Rounding out our large-scale quadrupeds and bipeds included two Baby Stegosaurus, both performer-driven with compact animatronics built into the creatures’ head for eye movements, head tilt, and mouth movements controlled remotely by a puppeteer in the periphery. Lastly, one Pteranodon, a fully animatronic puppet, featured a 12 foot wing-span with the puppet built to approved design specifications to house rigging that allowed for lifting of one human performer from the arena floor.
Movement tests for the bunraku puppet suits extended to Quantum hiring professional suit performers to give feedback on weight, balance, and overall character mobility. This same checks and balances was applied to the cart driven large scale dinosaurs with a Client approved.