Face of a Venom
DNEG animation Director troy Saliba DISCUSSES the Different approaches to realising VENOM’S Very particular facial motion
Mouth shapes: We had to be very careful about how we phrased all the words and syllables he was speaking, and especially if he was enunciating things really slowly you could really roll the lips across and get those shapes. If he was speaking quickly, we almost had to imply the shapes because otherwise you’d never be able to keep up with what Tom Hardy was saying.
Staying on-model: He started to get really offmodel the closer the lips got to the centre. And the bigger that little strip of flesh underneath his eyelids would get, and the more off-model he would get – it would start to feel very sort of duck-like all of a sudden. It was a very weird dance that we had to do to get the shapes we needed, but keep him on-model and not pull people out by having to change how he looks too much.
Tongue-tied: The director tended to lean more towards the iconic look from the comics, but the tongue ended up, overall, being less prominent than what was originally conceived. When he was talking, he couldn’t be talking with that big tongue out. So we had to find ways to get those iconic looks where the tongue is a big, prominent thing, but then when he’s talking, kind of tuck it away.
Reference: We didn’t use facial capture or directly reference Tom Hardy, but if we had video reference of Tom doing something and thought there was a little facial tick that he did, we would try to get the essence of that into our performance without having to technically figure out how to mathematically translate it. We would just visually figure out what Venom’s version of that was.