Visual Effects Breakdown, High-Res Screen Shots

FXGuide has a lengthy article breaking down how some of the most complicated effects shots in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader were achieved. The article also includes some fantastic high-res screenshots from the film.

Framestore, MPC, Cinesite, The Senate and The Mill worked on 1400 visual effects shots for the film. Here are some clips:


“On the last show we had been asked to go for a golden fantasy lion but this time we went with more of a real lion,” recalled Fawkner. “So we changed his colour palette to be a more realistic lion colour. And we introduced a darker mane.”


“These creatures are very active and jumpy so to get the best result we would have really had to have gone fully 3D,” said Fawkner. “But 16 fully 3D characters each with a different haircut and clothes was just a huge amount of work. So it was decided to go with a CG leg and trouser approach.


“We saturated his colour a little, gave him slightly bushier eyebrows and some extra ear hair and made his whiskers a little more wirery just to give him a sense of age. He’s also a little more pot-bellied than he was in the last film.”

Sea Serpent:

“The end composition everybody picked was the most far out design that we had,” said Valdez. “I think everyone reacted to the concept art that had all these crazy spines.”

White Witch:

To create the White Witch, Cinesite took greenscreen photography of actress Tilda Swinton and digitally massaged her into a more ethereal being. Artists generated a 3D model of Swinton’s head and animated it in Maya.

Opening Shot:

“We modelled the buildings in Maya using thousands of bracketed photos we had taken. It also happened coincidentally that the tower itself had a lion head repeated around the sides of it.”

The article also talks about the picture in the bedroom, DragonEustace, the never-crashing wave, the Dawn Treader herself, the mist, Narrowhaven, Coriakin’s map, Ramandu’s daughter, and the water nymphs. Read it the entire article here.

90 Responses

  1. Pepper Darcy says:

    I had never thought of that! Narnia vs. Telmarine! That's a great idea! 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

  2. McGunn says:

    I think it's good that you didn't notice. The best changes they could have made to something as good as Reepecheep in PC are the sutle ones, the ones which you don't see.

    I love the idea of the pot-belly:) Will look for it, but hopefully I'll be so amazed by the movie that I won't remember I said that.

  3. son of adam says:

    Matthew Vaughn, director of Stardust and Kick-ass should direct the next Narnia movies!

    Stardust budget – 70mil
    Kick-ass budget – 30mil

  4. Reepicheep says:

    I never knew that the mountain Eustace was walking behind in that shot was CG!

  5. Reepicheep says:

    The Sliver Chair is actually set 50 years after Dawn Treader.

  6. Mayor Wilkins says:

    Agreed. I've always considered Jadis the "king villain" of the series anyway.
    I've always thought that her demonic spirit was the seed of evil forever planted in Narnia. So I'm glad the filmmakers have kind of agreed with me on that angle. 😉

    Symbolically, Jadis = Satan
    So does the devil ever give up? No.
    He'll tempt man until the end of time. Why should Jadis be any different?
    And "Whoever heard of a witch who really died? You can always get them back."
    Rings true, doesn't it? 😉

    The whole "She is DEAD" argument does not make sense to me, guys. Nor does it hold any water. Sorry. Aslan killed her. Aslan removed her from the realm of the living. She can no longer physically attack anyone. She must rely on the temptation of man. Much like Satan must rely on temptation.

    A spirit is immortal. Physically, she is dead, but I'm surprised that a number of fans don't seem to (or maybe refuse to) grasp the idea of the immortal spirit. It's Narnia, people. Anything's possible in a magical land. Some people even believe in the idea of the immortal soul in this world. Surely that would hold true in Narnia also. Especially in the case of someone with intensely dark power at her disposal. And lets not forget about the silver apple. Maybe "Live forever" really means "Live forever" in one form or another.

    I think making her the main villain of "Silver Chair" would be a natural progression. She has tried to come back into the world 2 times now. It's about time she was successful. Anyway, most of the time, the Green Lady is beneath the earth–in the underworld–That's where Jadis should be, right?

  7. Not Of This World says:

    That would be iteresting 🙂

  8. sachin says:




  9. sachin says:


  10. Queen Elizabeth says:

    Well said. Making Jadis the universal Narnian villian would tie all of the films together with a common point.

  11. Queen Elizabeth says:

    PLEASE COME BACK ANDREW ADAMSON!!!! I love the midieval Narnian feel from the first 2 and I didn't feel it in VDT. Please come back and work your magic, cause silver chair actually takes place in Narnia for the most part.

  12. Queen Elizabeth says:

    He seemed to have more fun and goof around and relate more to the kids than Micheal Apted. They may have contributed to the new Narnian feel.

  13. High Queene Shelly Belly says:

    I hope they use ben again instead of some new actor and just age him

  14. Mayor Wilkins says:

    Symbolically, especially in earlier times, the color green has long been associated with evil and The Devil. In my own humble opinion, I prefer green to black any day. Black has been overused FAR TOO MUCH when depicting evil. The smoke mixed with the pulsating green on Dark Island was actually quite eerie looking. Furthermore, possible connections to The Green Lady cannot be ignored. While the Green Mist is destroyed, I believe the idea is it will later reincarnate itself in physical form as the LOTGK. 😉

    They have not killed the White Witch three times. They have killed her once. What we see in the following films is her spirit. She is not physically alive–yet 😛 LOTGK = White Witch reborn. Count on it. 😉

  15. High Queene Shelly Belly says:

    I did not have Jadis fatique like a lot of people here did, but my first gut reaction to seeing her in VDT was -"ugh, again?" like, I was not scared, just bored to see her face again. I think putting her in the 3rd film was a big mistake if they intended to use her in SC. they could have maybe just used her voice in edmund's mind but i think it will REALLY feel stale to have her show up again, esp. if they want her for MN. PRODUCERS TAKE NOTE- SHE IS JUST NOT SPECIAL ANYMORE -SHE'S OVEREXPOSED—–

  16. High Queene Shelly Belly says:

    that was a big turnoff, and too over the top for the youngest ones, i thought.

  17. Ted C says:

    LOL crazy is not the word I would use.

  18. Moviecynic says:

    I have a question for our UK friends. The movie is doing well in Mexico, Spain, Russia, South Korea, and France among others – but it is falling like a rock in the UK.

    What happened? Didn't the first film even beat Harry Potter that year? I can't imagine why the UK hasn't sold at least two or three times as many tickets yet.

    I LOVED this film. One of my favorite ever. Sure it could have been better but I am so glad it was made.

    Let's hope we get to see The Silver Chair!

  19. Queen Elizabeth says:

    I thought the green was cheesy and childish. It didn't have the creepy eerie feel like I was hoping for, I got that out of the sea monster.

  20. Queen Elizabeth says:

    Yea I knew the town was CGI. They could have made that a little more realistic looking. Like the upclose of the tower in the first shot, yea that looked like a coloring page. Not very good for the first thing you see. And I liked how they put the title right in the town.

  21. Mayor Wilkins says:

    Have to respectfully disagree. 😉
    They could put her in every movie and it would only give me more reason to go.
    When I saw the first trailer for "VDT," I thought, "OK this looks kind of lame…" and then The White Witch came on and I HAD to see it! I love Tilda Swinton, and I think there are many movie Narnia fans who probably consider her one of the major draws. There is no such thing as over-exposure with Tilda. Ha ha.

    A number of people on here say that her role in "VDT" didn't add anything to the movie. Again, I have to respectfully disagree. Her final moments in the film were, in my own humble opinion, full of tension and suspense. If Edmund gave in to her temptation, the ship would likely have been destroyed. And I loved the way she looked down at the sword when it glowed blue. It was like they were actually defeating something. She gave The Green Mist a face and a voice. I thought it was just as good a scene as the one in "Prince Caspian" and dare I say even better because it added an extra spice to the climax. It could possibly be one of my favorite moments in the picture if not THE favorite.

  22. Mayor Wilkins says:

    Oh no! I posted this comment in the wrong spot.
    So sorry.

  23. NARNIER says:

    Wow, Gymfan was right.

  24. Edmund's Queen says:

    Ha ha… thanks for the comments guys. Maybe crazy isn't the right word… unique? creative?

  25. Edmund's Queen says:


  26. Edmund's Queen says:

    I forgot to add… LONG LIVE THE KINGS!!!!

  27. Rilian says:

    I liked the dufflepuds standing on top of one another. That was great.

  28. CEP Paul T says:

    Definitely love this article at FXGuide!

  29. Annabeth says:

    I totally agree with you. The main reason I didn't enjoy VDT as much as I had hoped was because i felt that Apted didn't meet my expectations. i felt like Adamson focused more on the artistic side of Narnia (having Harry Gregson-Williams as composer, the scenery, the script, etc.) and Apted focused more on keeping things more British.

  30. Jake says:

    Why the heck are they putting naiads in VDT??? Aren't the aquatic people living in the ocean near the world's end Sea People(not merpeople)???? Naiads live in rivers and streams! Not oceans! Ocean dwelling nymphs are nereids and oceanids!! And they give them fish tails??!!! Naiads and Mermaids are two different things!! I should've been th one behind these films!