Martyn Culpitt talks about creating the creatures that appear throughout the New York sequence
The carriage intended to extradite Grindelwald to europe is pulled by six Thestrals, skeletal Pegasus creatures that are invisible to all that haven’t witnessed death. “We initially received a scan from the first movie,” recalls Culpitt. “We rebuilt the model and topology, then added more detail. The camera gets quite close, so we spent some time readjusting the look dev.” essentially Culpitt and his team needed to make sure that the Thestral’s felt like emaciated horses with wings.
“Bat wings were our main reference,” he says. “in the end we created six of them, with subtle differences. it was also a challenge to figure out the size and scale of them and how they’d fly as a group.”
image engine also created the Chupacabra, a six legged, sharp-toothed creature that Grindelwald keeps as a pet. “Within the MACUSA cells we have the Chupacabra chained up and we made it so he actually has a muzzle on like the Hannibal Lecter muzzle,” laughs Culpitt. “initially we had about four shots of him and by the end we had over ten, the filmmakers really wanted the Chupacabra to become a bigger part of the film. He’s a fun character, so we made quite a bit out of him, especially swimming in the water.”