Leura's link with dinosaur invasion

If it roared, stood as tall as a small office tower and is now extinct chances are it’s been re-created on screen by Leura’s Matt Drummond.

The Emmy Award-nominated 3D special effects animator is riding a new wave of creativity involving dinosaurs.

The filmmaker has already worked on television documentaries Prehistoric Predators and Death of the Megabeasts — and founded his own production company, Hive Studios. He has now confirmed his first feature film — Dinosaur Island — that he’s been working on in locations in Vanuatu and the Blue Mountains for the last three years is on schedule for cinematic release this year.

Meanwhile, the spectacular ‘Tyrannosaurs — Meet the Family’ exhibition on now at the Australian Museum in Sydney showcases the more interactive elements of his special effects work, involving a technique called augmented reality.

“There’s a particular part of the exhibition floor that has an interactive feature wall where a camera films the patrons and when you move it projects your image with a bunch of roaming projections of various tyrannosaurs,” Mr Drummond said.

“It’s a lot of fun and all the kids love it.

“I also did a ‘how to build a dinosaur’ activity section for this exhibition and produced a 30-second promotional video that features a tyrannosaur running around the city and hopping on a train to get to the Australian Museum on time.

“Because I’ve done so much dinosaur work it was a fairly simple process to create the 3D images for this exhibition.

“What was really interesting and fun for me was putting them in the setting of Sydney’s streets and also working with the museum’s palaeontologists to present through animation new research from China that identified some of the earliest tyrannosaurs had feathers, which further strengthens a known link between dinosaurs and birds.

“Creating dinosaurs with feathers and colourful crests was something I hadn’t done before.”

Mr Drummond said it’s easy to understand why people — and especially children — have always been fascinated by dinosaurs.

“I’ve always loved anything to do with dinosaurs and I think it’s their sheer size that captures the imagination.

“We just don’t have anything around today that is anywhere close to how enormous dinosaurs were.”

Tickets and family passes to the exhibition also include entry to the rest of The Australian Museum, located at 6 College Street, Sydney.

For more information, visit www.australianmuseum.net.au.

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