Shang-Chi: Meet Morris | Infographic world
While being held in Father Wenwu’s compound, Shang-Chi, Katy, and Xialing discover long-time captive Trevor Slattery and his companion, a most unusual but adorable creature created by Trixter – a small, round CG creation and fuzzy with six legs, four wings, and no head, eyes or mouth. In addition to not having a face, Morris, an expat from Ta Lo, has feathers and fur, which presented a challenge in bringing the character to life.
According to Dominik Zimmerle, VFX supervisor at Trixter, Morris is based on a Chinese mythological creature called Hundun (a primordial god of chaos), and as such, there are historical illustrations that establish a certain level of precedence over how Morris has been conceived. The studio also used a number of other creatures as a reference, including dogs, bears, wombats, and birds such as Canada geese (for wing structures).
“We started with a few concepts created by Marvel’s art department and worked closely with the team there to create a cute, wobbly, affable creature,” Zimmerle explains. The artists then refined the design, deciding how to set up its six legs (would it have two sets of front legs or two sets of rear legs?), Whether it would walk like a digitigrade creature on its toes or a plantigrade creature on full foot. In the end, it was decided that Morris would have two sets of hind legs and a plantigrade movement.
“Animating and rigging a six-legged creature like Morris was unprecedented for our team. And, given that he’s such a small and compact creature, it was a big challenge not only to find space for the extra set of legs in his small frame, but also to make sure they could move around in a realistic and realistic manner, ”explains Zimmerlé.
Morris not only had to be cute, but he also had to communicate – which wasn’t easy with a creature that doesn’t have a face – which he does by flapping his wings and shifting his weight.
In addition to Morris, Trixter also created an all-CG world and many other mythological creatures for the film that appear as Shang-Chi and his friends walk through an aquatic portal (created by Scanline) and enter Ta Lo’s path, all contributing to Trixter’s 237 total VFX shots in the film. As with Morris, these are all extant creatures from Chinese mythology. “The designs are very interesting and based on animals that are somewhat familiar in terms of appearance, to keep them as realistic as possible while still being fantastic,” says Townsend.
There are a variety of creatures that appear along the so-called ancestral route (also an all-CG environment built by Trixter) at the entrance to Ta Lo, including nine-tailed white foxes and qilins, animals resembling horses with the face of a dragon, turquoise, iridescent, scaly skin, flaming white mane, deer antlers at the top of their heads and shriveled faces.
Finally, Trixter created Abomination, a towering creature at the Macau Fight Club.