Happy New Year!
As The Dark Knight is now available on DVD I can now show you the pre-production tests I created of the Batpod. They had made a practical version but because of the huge wheels, the movement was very limited, especially in it's ability to turn. It became obvious that a computer generated version would be able to achieve much more dynamic movement.
This is the first test I created to show how flexible it could be. The idea is that the mechanism is gyroscopic, keeping the wheels flat to the ground while the rider leans into the turns.
Batpod 1 from Brendan Body on Vimeo.
The next test I made was intended to show other aspects of the Batpod's movement. The jump shows how the machine's suspension might absorb impact. The next part shows how the batpod might recoil from the cannons firing, and the last part shows how the bike could lower to avoid an obstacle.
Batpod 2 from Brendan Body on Vimeo.
This last animation is of something the director was keen to see work visually. He wanted the bike to drive up a wall, then it's body to twist round to land, ready to drive off in the opposite direction. This idea made it into the film.
Batpod 3 from Brendan Body on Vimeo.
I enjoyed making these animations, and it was also a rare opportunity for me to do the rigging.
In the final version the Batpod's movement was toned down a lot from these initial tests. It looks much stiffer than how I envisioned it, which makes sense as it matches more closely up to the practical Batpod.