Here's Benedict Cumberbatch doing mo-cap as The Hobbit's SmaugS

The most exciting thing about this December's new Hobbit film is the appearance of Benedict Cumberbatch as Smaug, the fearsome dragon. And these behind-the-scenes photos of Cumberbatch doing motion-capture show just how much he put into the role.

These photos of Cumberbatch doing mo-cap were posted on Flickr by user Tolkienerd. Check out more at the link, but some of our favorites are below.

In an interview a few months ago, Cumberbatch talked about how Peter Jackson asked him to play Smaug using full mo-cap:

He wasn’t that in need of it but he said, ‘do you want to do it?’ I said, ‘Absolutely, I do. That’s the great appeal, trying to bring this. He said, ‘But’. I went, ‘I know what you’re going to say: I’m a biped mammal, I’m not a serpent with tiny claws or legs. I don’t have a tail, I can’t breathe fire or fly, and the rest of the things that aren’t dragonlike about me. But I do think in my imagination I’ve got something which might at least push the WETA animation into a direction.’ He went, ‘Come down and play.’ So that was an amazing thing, I’d never been so free. You feel like a tit when you walk onto the stage and there are dots all over your face and your body, but the motion-capture volumes pick up every motion and turn it into an avatar. A beautiful full circle.

Here's Benedict Cumberbatch doing mo-cap as The Hobbit's SmaugS

Here's Benedict Cumberbatch doing mo-cap as The Hobbit's SmaugS

Here's Benedict Cumberbatch doing mo-cap as The Hobbit's SmaugS

[Flickr via Furious Fanboys]