New Dawn of the Planet of the Apes footage reveals how to create our mo-cap overlords

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May 21, 2014, 1:24 PM EDT (Updated)

Considering much of the cast is comprised of CG animals, the upcoming sci-fi flick Dawn of the Planet of the Apes promises to have a good bit of special effects — but how do they bring those super-smart apes to life? Like this, and it’s awesome.

The studio has revealed some behind-the-scenes footage from the film, showing some side-by-side comparisons of the pre-CGI and post-CGI shots with motion-capture actors wearing elaborate suits to capture their every expression. It’s fascinating to see it in action, and it gives us a rare glimpse at the human faces behind our hairy overlords.

Motion capture legend Andy Serkis (Lord of the Rings) is playing the head ape, Caesar, and revealed he has actually seen an entire cut of the film without any special effects whatsoever. According to him, “it’s amazing to watch as Weta’s work comes in and we’re transformed.” Yeah, we’d have to agree.

Check out the clip below:

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is slated to open July 11. What do you think of the epic CGI work?

(Via Entertainment Weekly)