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How tech wizards created ‘Planet of the Apes’

Andy Serkis in "War for the Planet of the Apes"
A comparison of motion-capture footage featuring Andy Serkis and the character he plays in “War for the Planet of the Apes” shows how the actor is transformed into an ape. (Twentieth Century Fox / Weta Digital)

“War for the Planet of the Apes,” the latest installment of the blockbuster movie reboot, is all about revealing the humanity in Caesar and his legions of gene-altered apes – but it takes legions of wizards to make sure that humanity comes through.

Fortunately, there are wizards galore at Weta Digital, the special-effects studio behind film extravaganzas ranging from “The Lord of the Rings” and “The Hobbit” to “Avatar” and the upcoming “Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets.”

Oscar-winning visual effects supervisor Dan Lemmon said “War for the Planet of the Apes,” opening today, set a new bar for his New Zealand-based team.

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