Here's how 'Finch' robot Jeff came to life in the latest Apple TV+ hit

Apple Tv Finch Key Art
Apple Tv Finch Key Art (Image credit: Apple TV+)

What you need to know

  • Apple TV+ movie Finch features a robot, but it isn't all CGI.
  • A new report notes how the movie's effects team used physical elements to create Jeff.

The hot new thing on Apple TV+ right now is undoubtedly Finch, a movie about a robot and a dog and, of course, Tom Hanks. That's oversimplifying things greatly, but what's interesting is the way the movie's visual effects team set about creating that robot, named Jeff.

A new Variety report looks into the way Jeff was brought to life. VFX supervisor Scott Stokdyk and his team were tasked with creating Jeff, with actor Caleb Landry Jones involved throughout.

Stokdyk had actor Caleb Landry Jones dress in a special suit complete with a mask as well as practical elements like the robot's outer arms and gloves. "We used the latest motion capture technology that doesn't rely on optical cameras," he explains. "That allowed us to have gyroscopic sensors that can be underneath clothing." When Jeff's other robot elements were added later, Stokdyk could choose which would be real and which would be added in CGI.

The result is a robot that looks increasingly lifelike in the way it moves, right down to tiny movements. It's all about makingt he audience believe that Jeff is real, while also "being true to Caleb's performance," according to Stokdyk himself.

Finch has already posted the biggest opening weekend ever seen by an Apple TV+ release, so it's clear Jeff is proving popular. Or maybe it's something to do with Tom Hanks — I'm told he has a promising career ahead of him!

If you want to enjoy Finch in style, be sure to check out our list of the Best Apple TV deals on the market today. The movie is available to stream on Apple TV+ now.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.