While a more recent example, Guardians also has Academy Awards history, as the 2014 original was nominated for a VFX Oscar. This time, Rocket and his fur become even more realistic, and instead of Groot, audiences fell in love with emotive Baby Groot, just a few inches tall. “Baby Groot was heavily influenced by Groot from the first Guardians film, in both performance and look,” says VFX supervisor Christopher Townsend. “The challenge was to make the skin feel like young bark and animatable without it looking stretchy, so we created a dual-layer system, where the surface remained stiffer than the grooves of the grain, which expanded more.”
This story first appeared in the Feb. 21 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.