Magic Leap Taps Andy Serkis For ‘Orc-Like’ Motion Capture Character

The Oscar nominated actors performance-capture studio partners with Magic Leap to bring fresh content to their MR platform.

With credits including legendary franchises like The Lord of the Rings, Planet of the Apes, and Star Wars, Andy Serkis has proven himself a legend within the world of motion capture technology. Now the celebrated actor, director and author has taken his talents to augmented reality thanks to an ongoing partnership with Magic Leap.

Introducing Grishneck, Magic Leap’s 3D animated “Orc-like” character portrayed by Serkis. An AR monster available for interaction via the Magic Leap One Creator Edition mixed reality headset, Girshneck marks a new point in the five year collaboration between the mixed reality studio and The Imaginarium, Serkis’ personal performance-capture production company.

As reported by The Hollywood Reporter, Serkis plays a 3D animated beast rejected by its initial project due to not being a frightening enough character; a hopeful indication that we’ll be getting a rare glimpse at Serkis’ comedic side. Users will be able to interact with Serkis as his character moves about a controlled augmented area, whether it be the coffee table in your living room, or the park bench outside.

“What is thrilling is that with Magic Leap, the relationship of the performances to the real world can change hugely and they can be placed and manifested in countless ways,” expressed Serkis while speaking to The Hollywood Reporter. “The storytelling has to be compelling, robust and totally engaging, but it’s fun knowing that the characters can end up anywhere, and be related to in a myriad of different situations.”

With such an impressive history portraying some of modern films most iconic CGI characters, it comes as no surprise the immensely talented actor is so vehemently dedicated towards the progression of this growing cinematic technology.

“As an actor, the process of creating a role emotionally, psychologically and physically, that will live in a mixed reality environment is no different to any other sphere of storytelling,” continues Serkis. “The only exception being that your performance can live on in so many different iterations, which are yet to be decided.”

“However, as a director capturing a performance for Magic Leap content is fascinating because you are offering up the story and yet the end user has total freedom as to how they will experience it spatially. It is entirely different to capturing for a movie, where you obviously have control over every aspect of the viewer’s experience.”

Along with developing a host of new projects alongside Magic Leap, Imaginarium Productions is also supporting third-party developers with additional resources and by opening up access to their state-of-the-art motion capture studio in London.

With an official release date yet to be announced, Magic Leap owners will unfortunately have some time to kill before they’re casually chatting with Serkis’ not-so-scary Orc.

Image Credit: Magic Leap / The Imaginarium

About the Scout

Kyle Melnick

Kyle is a writer for VRScout also working in new media production. He's also a part-time bounty hunter.

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