One of the key characters in Ang Lee's forthcoming adaptation of Yann Mantel's bestseller Life of Pi is a 450-pound Bengal tiger called Richard Parker, who shares a small boat with the titular character. In the above video, Lee, Mantel and VFX supervisor Bill Westenhofer from effects studio Rhythm and Hues discuss how a mix of CG and – where possible – a real tiger was used, and the pressures this put on the VFX team to create a CG tiger that seamlessly matched the real beast.

Life of Pi is out in the UK on December 20.