Breaking Dawn Part 2: How Did They Do the Special Effects? [Corrected]


Home / Breaking Dawn Part 2: How Did They Do the Special Effects? [Corrected]

Computer graphics effects transplanted actress Mackenzie Foy’s face onto all other actresses. Image by AlineVictória

Adding Renesmee to the Screen

It was always going to be difficult to turn Breaking Dawn from a book to a movie.

Even when you take away the wolves, the vampires and all the special powers, there is the matter of Renesmee.

The daughter of Edward and Bella starts as a baby and quickly grows to be a child in the book.

While this does not seem too bad, what about the fact that she has the strengths of a vampire?

She flips from trees, and plays with the wolves.

Renesmee was cast, but the movie required CGI to animate her as a baby, and to keep her face consistent between actresses.

As Renesmee grows from being a baby to a child, fans will note how the face always looks like the young actress, Mackenzie Foy – Adam Howard (who did the same for The Social Network) added Foy’s face to the bodies of the younger versions.

Younger actresses were used for the younger Renesmees – with their heads placed in a harness so the movements could be filmed. Foy’s face was then superimposed onto the bodies in all the scenes.

Breaking Dawn 2: Special Effects Reviews

There have been a few reviews out of Breaking Dawn Part 2. While they don’t really give away the ending, which, judging by the trailers will be different from the books, they do discuss the effectiveness of some of the CGI used in the film. In short, the wolves looked more realistic, as technology has progressed since the last film, but some fans are still disappointed by the obviously computer generated areas that have not quite improved to the standard of live-action shots.


Breaking Dawn Movie. ‘Breaking Dawn’ CGI Visual Effects Team Grows! (2012). Accessed November 16, 2012.

Image Engine. The Twilight Saga: Eclipse. Image Engine Joins the Saga. Accessed November 16, 2012.

Weintraub, S. Exclusive Interview: Eric Leven Visual Effects Supervisor on THE TWILIGHT SAGA: ECLIPSE. (2010). Collider. Accessed November 19, 2012.

Tippett Studios. The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn II. (2012). Accessed November 21, 2012.

Interview with Tippett Studios on November 21, 2012

Editor’s note: The original version of this article incorrectly credited Image Engine for the creation of the wolves for Breaking Dawn 2. Many thanks to Tippett Studios for bringing this error to our attention. 

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