"Realistic Pokémon" Artist Got A Job On The Detective Pikachu Movie

Illustration for article titled Realistic iPokémon/i Artist Got A Job On The iDetective Pikachu/i Movie
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Six years ago, artist RJ Palmer started drawing Pokémon as though they were realistic dinosaurs. Those sketches, done for fun, led to him getting the job of a lifetime: working on the Detective Pikachu movie, which we got our first real look at today.

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I mean that in the most literal sense; Palmer says that the film’s production designer hired him when he googled “realistic Pokemon” and our posts on his 2012-13 art came up.

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Palmer—who by day works at Ubisoft’s San Francisco studio (Rocksmith, South Park: The Fractured But Whole)—spent about seven months on the movie in 2016-17, and contributed a bunch of Pokémon designs. If you’re wondering why any Pokemon needed to be redesigned, watch the trailer again: while Pikachu has essentially just been given more visible fur, other guys like Charizard are looking far more fleshed-out.

We’ll hopefully get a look at those closer to the film’s release in 2019, but for now, I thought it’d be fun to look back at his earlier stuff, more of which you can see collected here.


Illustration for article titled Realistic iPokémon/i Artist Got A Job On The iDetective Pikachu/i Movie
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Illustration for article titled Realistic iPokémon/i Artist Got A Job On The iDetective Pikachu/i Movie
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Illustration for article titled Realistic iPokémon/i Artist Got A Job On The iDetective Pikachu/i Movie
Illustration for article titled Realistic iPokémon/i Artist Got A Job On The iDetective Pikachu/i Movie
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Illustration for article titled Realistic iPokémon/i Artist Got A Job On The iDetective Pikachu/i Movie
Illustration for article titled Realistic iPokémon/i Artist Got A Job On The iDetective Pikachu/i Movie
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Illustration for article titled Realistic iPokémon/i Artist Got A Job On The iDetective Pikachu/i Movie
Illustration for article titled Realistic iPokémon/i Artist Got A Job On The iDetective Pikachu/i Movie
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Illustration for article titled Realistic iPokémon/i Artist Got A Job On The iDetective Pikachu/i Movie
Illustration for article titled Realistic iPokémon/i Artist Got A Job On The iDetective Pikachu/i Movie
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Illustration for article titled Realistic iPokémon/i Artist Got A Job On The iDetective Pikachu/i Movie
Illustration for article titled Realistic iPokémon/i Artist Got A Job On The iDetective Pikachu/i Movie
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Illustration for article titled Realistic iPokémon/i Artist Got A Job On The iDetective Pikachu/i Movie
Illustration for article titled Realistic iPokémon/i Artist Got A Job On The iDetective Pikachu/i Movie

Luke Plunkett is a Senior Editor based in Canberra, Australia. He has written a book on cosplay, designed a game about airplanes, and also runs cosplay.kotaku.com.

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DISCUSSION

Pleasance13

Must have been frustrating for him, because they clearly just added realistic skin textures and fur to unchanged models. Looks more like those gross “Nintendo characters in Unreal 4 engine” videos than this guy’s well-thought-out redesigns.