Modern era VFX has given us a plethora of CGI characters, but not many have been as successful as Groot - which is quite a feat, considering his extremely limited vocabulary. After a heart-warming run in 2014, Groot returned as an infant to steal our hearts once again in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.
While Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 continues its successful run at the box-office, artist Anthony Francisco shared some of his concept art for Baby Groot and Adolescent Groot. While sharing the images of Facebook, the artist divulged his love for the character and how Baby Groot was influenced by his own kids,
"One of my favorite contributions to the MCU is the development of Baby Groot. I pretty much watched him grow, I did the concept design from potted Groot to Baby Groot, and now Teen Groot! 'GOTG Vol.2' was all about family and this character is so close to my heart because my kids were the inspiration that helped me in finding the design. And my son is much like baby groot, he is a handful but always cute and adorable."
So, let's take a look how Anthony Fransisco brought Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2's Baby Groot and Adolescent Groot to life.
Concept Art Of Baby and Adolescent Groot
Despite his youthful characteristics, a major portion for the Guardian's success against Ego should be credited to Groot's miniature size, which allowed him to detonate Ego's brain and save the galaxy. However, early renditions of Baby Groot might have not allowed him to do so because Francisco had made him as tall as Rocket Raccoon - before director James Gunn insisted that he should be much smaller.
Best pals Rocket and baby groot. One of my initial designs that James Gunn liked. But Baby Groot just had to be much much smaller! :) It was great to have a clear direction with just our first pass. James Gunn was pretty specific with giving notes and that made the process really smooth.
Considering that this was an initial design, it's amazing to see how Francisco nailed the aesthetics that would then be used for the film from the beginning.
With his next image, we can see the opening scene where Baby Groot tries to configure the workings of an electric cable. Even though he didn't have an active participation in the big fight against the Obelisk, Baby Groot sure made things more upbeat throughout the battle.
Because one of the most adorable aspects of Baby Groot was his round shape and chubby cheeks, fans might be surprised to know that Francisco had initially imagined Baby Groot a little slimmer. As director James Gunn had envisioned Groot as a baby, Francisco went with the relatively cuter design and even had Baby Groot flaunting a toddler tummy.
Despite chipping in to save the galaxy a second time, the Guardians did have a hard time looking after Baby Groot. After getting a glimpse of his attitude in the post-credit scene, we can only imagine how much of a headache he is going to be for the Guardians.
Other Artwork For 'Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2'
Apart from designing the fan-favorite Baby Groot, Anthony Francisco has also created one of the most dangerous looking monsters in the #MCU, the Obelisk. Even though the tentacled monster didn't get a lot of screen-time, it was a prominent part of the film's trailer and Francisco lauded James Gunn's specificity about his creation and how it should look on the big-screen,
I enjoyed every design challenge on this film, it's because James allowed us to explore and be as weird as we wanted to be :)... he had one note that stood out to me and I made sure I delivered on it... the creature had to look like a Naked Mole Rat! And I figured its not the structure of the animal that he wants, but the feeling it gives you when you see it! So I made sure I matched the color and texture of the Naked Mole Rats skin ... that seems to be what makes my skin crawl whenever I look at it :) ... oh and he also wanted tentacles - lots of it .
With such amazing artwork that contributes to the MCU, Francisco should be praised for bringing so many Marvel characters to the big screen in a way that is immensely satisfying for fans. By hiring such talents like Anthony Francisco and Josh Herman, Marvel has managed to woo the audience by striking a balance between art and entertainment.
As Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 continues its incredibly successful run at the box office, it will be interesting to see what other monsters and characters James Gunn has in store for us in the third installment of this franchise.
(Source: Comic Book Movie)