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Thread: Mermaid tails from The Movie Hook.... and Power Ranger?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Pod of Cali Prince Calypso's Avatar
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    Mermaid tails from The Movie Hook.... and Power Ranger?

    So one idea that I have heard repeated over and over again is how to go about making a long tail.
    now we all know how it was pretty much done on H2O: Just Add Water
    but i am aiming more for the tails like the one on Hook. The only issue is that
    i have never been able to find
    the company that made the tail or how they made it.
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    In the Picture Above you can see the basic design of the tail, its about a foot or two long and i think is's a solid silicone or rubber mold or something
    but I'm not sure. if anyone has any kinda of idea how to possibly make this or how it was made please comment or private message me casue i am really interested in these tails and would love to colaberate with someone on making one.

    also while researching the tail i came across a interesting little tidbit
    a tail either by the same designers or made to look similar was made for two episode of Power Ranger's Light speed Rescue.
    the tail belonged to one Marin, the daughter of Neptune who falls for the Blue light Speed ranger. i couldn't find any really good picture of it but i own the VHS and i knew the design the moment i saw it, here are a few.

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    these two picture don't really do the live action justice but you get the gist
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  2. #2
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    Ive tried looking in the hook movie credits, but no luck

  3. #3
    Actually the tails from that movie are CGI. I know they LOOK real, but that's what good CGI looks like, and why only a few seconds can cost tens of thousands of dollars! There's no way real legs could bend that way, silicone or not. Sorry :/

    If you wanted to make ones similar, they'd be the same kind of technique for H2O, but you don't have to go through all the layers if you don't want to. One mer I've never seen anyone mention was Mermaid Bri, who made a tail that was long and slender like that. From what she told me it was the same kind of deal. You can find her on YouTube as well. However her tail seems more for looking the part than actually aiding in swimming.

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    Found this while browsing, but I dont think its very helpful...
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  5. #5
    Yeah I was just about to mention that pic Nykur and ask Wingd Mer how the.tails.where CGI? Cuz ive seen those tails in 2other pics! But if they are then thats fuckin amazing CGI...better than the WHOLE avatar movie! But idk if the pple who make them tails ever b found

  6. #6
    Senior Member Chesapeake Pod ShyMer's Avatar
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    I don't know, I think it moves too well to be cg. When she kicks the second time, it's not as fluid as the others, and reminds me of someone who's not very practiced with the dolphin kick. I feel like if they animated it, they would have made it move more consistently and fluidly through the whole tail. You could maybe say motion capture, but did they use that for animating at that point? Were they even really capable of animating something so realistically then?
    When I look at how slender she is, it seems to me that her backside is thicker than it should be proportionately, as if the tail was really thick in places to hide leg shape and prevent wrinkling. When she leans in in the second shot, her backside bulges a bit from displacement, which makes me think it's a thick material that's designed to look smooth when the body is mostly straight. Also in the second shot, when she's moving closer to Williams, she kicks her feet somewhat weakly and the fluke doesn't do anything- it just hangs there, there's no momentum going into it. I think if they were animating it, they would have made it look more fluid.

    I think it is likely her legs, and not animation. Her feet end around where the set of fins just before the fluke are. Judging by the way it flows, if she's even getting any propulsion from the tail itself, it's not from the fluke. The energy from the kick is ending at her feet. It doesn't look like she's getting much momentum from those side fins, so maybe they pushed her through the water to get her moving? It's just an observation.

    I think it could possibly be that they only animated part of the tail, so perhaps the tail is real through the knee or something, with the animated part being the lower half. I think it makes more sense for it to be a real tail though. I think it's quite doable, but maybe not practical for what most of us would want it for.
    Last edited by ShyMer; 11-03-2012 at 12:48 PM.

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    The Hook tails are well before CGI lol CGI was barley a thing back then, and extremely expensive, and did not produce quality like that.

  8. #8
    I've come across this photo multiple times on the net.
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    And I've come across a set of photo's that included these...

    They both look VERY similar to the structure used for the 'Hook' tails. I think these may be from some Malaysian or Philippine soap. I doubt the tails were cgi though

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  9. #9
    Senior Member Pod of The South Blondie's Avatar
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    Huh I never knew the Hook tails were CGI That's pretty impressive that that time.

  10. #10
    Hook mermaids were most definitely not CGI. See the picture below, also I read a lengthy article in an FX publication on how they were made. Attachments were added to the legs to make the tails longer. Consider also CGI in 1990/1991 could not have produced that level of realism; witness the Levis mermaid ad from around the mid-nineties, in which the tails were in fact CGI and not convincing at all. Anyway, Hook tails = FX creations.

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    Last edited by SoCalMerman; 11-03-2012 at 08:07 PM.

  11. #11
    Aa ass awaas old...*stops and takes fin out of mouth* ...Well, oops. :P I was always told it was CGI or animated shots. Maybe they just retouched it so the legs were more bendy looking? (May I just say I actually love it when you guys prove me wrong ;D)

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  12. #12
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    I still don't think they could have been CGI. Hook came out in 1991! Very FEW movies used CGI back then, and when they did it was incredibly obvious. Look: http://www.stikkymedia.com/articles/...-cgi-in-movies Compare that tail to the CGI used in 1991 and earlier. Are we just assuming it's CGI because people can't find any info on the tails? On IMBD it doesn't list any CGI companies, http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0102057/fullcredits#cast though it lists Cannom creations for much of the costume and makeup credits, and a quick search shows they they do all kinds of special effects including prosthetics (which is what mermaid tails are generally filed under) http://www.imdb.com/company/co0027810/ They also did the Miranda tail.

    EDIT
    AND AHA I FOUND IT. Right here
    : http://www.measimerspmfx.com/MIKESNEW07RESUME1.pdf go all the way down to 1991
    1991 HOOK CANNOM
    CREATIONS
    PAINTING MERMAID TAILS AND ON SET MAKE-UP APPLICATION
    Those are costume tails, not CGI.

  13. #13
    "May I just say I actually love it when you guys prove me wrong ;D"

    I did so with respect, simply in the interest of having correct knowledge. I'm not the neener-neener type.

  14. #14
    the absolute hilarity of it all is that I was talking with Raina when she was looking up all the information about "Hook". She mentioned it to me and I spent the next hour and half watching the movie "Hook" because I had forgotten about the mermaids! Blasphemy I know!! but it was fun definately to watch one of my favorite movies all over again just to see the mermaids.

  15. #15
    See, I was going to guess that CGI may have been rotoscoped over the girls swimming (which would account for fluidity in the kicks). I tried to do some research and didn't find much on the Hook mermaids really, but Hook definitely used CGI in it. It was an ILM production. And CGI has been around for much longer than people think. It was also much more advanced than you probably would have guessed (the original Tron, anyone?).

    Anyway this was all I got (just stuff I found interesting/cool):

    [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hook_(film)]

    Hook was shot entirely on sound stages at Sony Pictures Studios in Culver City, California.

    Peter Pan entered pre-production in 1985 for filming to begin at sound stages in England. Elliot Scott had been hired as production designer.[4] With the birth of his first son, Max, in 1985, Spielberg decided to drop out. "I decided not to make Peter Pan when I had my first child," Spielberg commented. "I didn't want to go to London and have seven kids on wires in front of blue screens. I wanted to be home as a dad."[5] Around this time, Spielberg considered directing Big, which carried similar motifs and themes with Peter Pan.[5] In 1987, Spielberg "permanently abandoned" Peter Pan, feeling he expressed his childhood and adult themes in Empire of the Sun.[6]

    Filming started on February 19, 1991, occupying nine sound stages at Sony Pictures Studios in Culver City, California.[1] Stage 30 housed the Neverland Lost Boys playground, while Stage 10 supplied Captain Hook's ship cabin. Hidden hydraulics were installed to rock the set piece to simulate a swaying ship, but the filmmakers found the movement distracted the dialogue, so the idea was dropped.[8]
    Stage 27 housed the full-sized pirate ship Jolly Roger and the surrounding Pirate Wharf.[8] Industrial Light & Magic provided the visual effects sequences

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0102057/fullcredits


    Fun fact: George Lucas and Carrie Fisher both make cameos in Hook as the kissing couple who begin to float when some fairy dust lands on them

    http://design.osu.edu/carlson/history/lesson14.html

    As the image making capabilities advanced during the move from the lab to full scale production in the 1970s, Hollywood took notice. There were several movies that included one or more special effects scenes that were CGI. For example, John Whitney Jr. produced some graphics effects for Michael Crichton's Westworld in 1973; Information International Inc (III) produced a 3D representation of Peter Fonda's head for the movie Futureworld in 1976; Susan Dey was digitized by III for several scenes in Looker; Larry Cuba produced a scene for Star Wars, and another scene was done with Scanimate; John Whitney, Sr., R/Greenberg and others produced graphics for titles, including the famous Superman titles; Disney's The Black Hole used a 3D effect for the opening and for some trailers; the Genesis Effect was produced by Lucasfilm for Star Trek: the Wrath of Khan in 1982.

    But it was the 1982 sci-fi movie TRON that pushed the issue, using four major production companies to produce over 20 minutes of full 3D graphics. Whereas the movie was not a box-office success, it did prove that this new medium had tremendous potential for the industry.
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  16. #16
    Senior Member Chesapeake Pod ShyMer's Avatar
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    I still don't see why they'd cg over the tails at all though. Her kicks don't look fluid to me- I think there's something solid inside the tail past the foot to hold the curved shape that makes it look fluid. That curved part where the side fins are (where I think the feet are) doesn't flow at all- when she kicks, it cuts down, and the fluke follows it. It looks to me more like clever design to trick the eyes into thinking it's something it's not. I guess I feel like they could have done some editing, but I think it would have been simpler to use a well designed prosthetic.

    I think ILM could have been involved with editing Tinkerbell in, though. I rewatched a few scenes just now and she looked really nice. They did a good job of making her blend and interact with the environment, and I love the wing movement. Also some of the things ILM did was subtle stuff, like adding extras or working on environments, so it could have been other things.

    Other than the Hook thing though, I've been enjoying looking at different examples of what they could do back at that point. Specifically I love that scene from the Abyss- I love what they did with the light on the thing. I think it's interesting that at that point cg was mostly blending of images and manipulating, rather than creating something entirely new like in LOTR or Avatar. I had a hard time finding specific examples of what they could do at that point though, anyone have some clips we could watch for comparison?

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    Here's something, but its much older \:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...&v=vnSWxYwBvWg

  18. #18
    Oh, I didn't mean to imply that the CGI was done over prosthetic tails. It could be rotoscoped over legs with small flippers and they could be wearing skirts similar to how the mermaids in POTC 4 were filmed. That would make sense to me since both movies are ILM.

  19. #19
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    but I found the credit saying they were made? http://www.measimerspmfx.com/MIKESNEW07RESUME1.pdf By Cannom Creations- who also did the Miranda Tail, that most certainly wasn't animated, looked, and MOVED a lot like these ones. I think it's perfectly reasonable that the tails can move like this, they're made to look realistic, where as the tail makers today sell tails that are the most functioning. Just because we don't see it a lot doesn't mean it's not doable. Simply look at the incredibly fluid movement you can get from a silicone fin that isn't filled with a monofin.

    I'm fairly certain the POTC mermaids were filmed in tights that were CGIed over. Since there are lots of behind the scenes shots of them in tights.

  20. #20
    Yeah, I know. I also noticed the credits you posted earlier. I was only saying what my guess would have been. And I think for the scenes when the pirates catch Syrena in POTC 4 she wore a skirt, or talked about wearing one - not sure though.

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