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At 0:13 of this video clip, the director of the movie says:

What's so exciting is that we are capturing the actors' performance, tracking that into these photo reliefs.

Photo-relief is defined in this dictionary as

An image in relief produced by a photographic process

Which I doubt makes any sense in the movie's context.

So I've looked at another definition here:

  1. A photograph having relief information added.

  2. A photograph of a relief model .

But I still can't wrap my head around the meaning of "photo reliefs" as used by the director.

What does "photo reliefs" mean in context?

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Relief: ... 2) the projection of a figure or part from the ground or plane on which it is formed, as in sculpture or similar work. 3) a piece or work in such projection. 4) an apparent projection of parts in a painting, drawing, etc., giving the appearance of the third dimension.

They make a 3D Relief by combining depth information from the motion capture with still images (photos) of the ape characters. In practice, the processes used to merge polygonal 3D models, motion data and 'texture' images for one of these films will be complex - but basically it's a similar 'photo relief' technique to the one demonstrated in this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8AUSgKPoLdY

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