Giger made several conceptual paintings of the adult Alien before crafting the final version. He sculpted
the creature's body using plasticine, incorporating pieces such as vertebrae from snakes and cooling tubes
from a Rolls-Royce. The creature's head was manufactured separately by Carlo Rambaldi who had worked on the
aliens in Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Rambaldi followed Giger's designs closely making some
modifications in order to incorporate the moving parts which would animate the jaw and inner mouth. A
system of hinges and cables was used to operate the creature's rigid tongue, which protruded from the
main mouth and had a second mouth at the tip of it with its own set of movable teeth. The final head
had about nine hundred moving parts and points of articulation. Part of a human skull was used as
the face and was hidden under the smooth translucent cover of the alien's head. Carlo Rambaldi also worked on the alien eggs and the facehuggers for the film.
Rambaldi's original Alien jaw
is now on display in the Smithsonian Institution, while in April 2007 the original Alien suit was sold
Copious amounts of K-Y Jelly were used to simulate saliva and to give the Alien an overall
slimy appearance a technique used in future Alien, Predator and Alien v Predator films. The creature's vocalizations were provided by Percy Edwards, a voice artist famous
for providing bird sounds for British television throughout the 1960s and 1970s as well as the whale sounds
for Orca: Killer Whale (1977).
Bolaji Badejo played as the Alien in the film, a Nigerian design student, Badejo was discovered in a bar by a member
of the casting team, who put him in touch with Ridley Scott. Scott believed that Badejo with a slender
frame could portray the Alien and look as if his arms and legs were too long to be real, creating the
illusion that there could not possibly be a human being inside the costume.
Stuntmen Eddie Powell and Roy Scammell also portrayed the Alien in some scenes. For some scenes such as
when the Alien lowers itself from the ceiling to kill Brett in the cargo rooms, the creature was portrayed by stuntmen Eddie
Powell and Roy Scammell, in that scene a costumed Powell was suspended on wires and then lowered in an unfurling motion.
From alien to aliens the suits were simplified and redesigned giving them more character.
Dancers, gymnasts and stunt men were hired to portray the Aliens in the film.
Only six alien suits were used mostly just a handful of latex appliances on black
leotards. Aliens were mostly filmed as warriors with painted on dark areas and added paint depicting light shadows. The appearance of hundreds of aliens was simply clever editing and planning, lighting plus slime
helped make the suits more solid, produced by Stan Winston aliens effect supervisor with Tom Woodruff Jr.,
John Rosengrant, Richard Landon and Shane Mahan creature effects coordinators.
Suits could be posed in ways that allowed them to stand by themselves like on the APC in the Atmosphere
Processor as Aliens get run down. These were also hung up and blown up as shots required. Yellow dye was used
with two chemicals for the acid blood and as they were mixed it created smoke. The Alien in the APC was filmed
in reverse with a puppeteer controlling the creature and a number of takes for Hicks using a shotgun which were filmed separately.
The Aliens crawling along the ceiling in Operations was filming with the camera inverted as actors crawled along the floor.
Stan Winston, responsible for creature effects in Aliens, was approached but was not available. Winston
instead recommended Tom Woodruff, Jr. and Alec Gills, two former workers of his studio who had just started their own company, Amalgamated Dynamics. Adding their expertise, Tom Woodruff, Jr. also played as the Alien in the film but was uncredited.
The Alien is portrayed by both Woodruff, Jr. in a suit and a rod puppet filmed against bluescreen and
optically composited into the live-action footage. A mechanical alien head was also used for close-ups.
The suit adapted the design used in Aliens so Woodruff could walk on all fours. Woodruff's head was
contained in the neck of the suit because the head was filled with animatronics to move the mouth pieces of the Alien.
David Jones model shop supervisor, Laine Liska lead puppeteer
and Richard Edlund visual effect supervisor all worked on controlling and filming the Alien.
Filming for the miniature Alien was on a rail which was pulled by production staff and the Alien filmed against
a matte background, a 1' Alien model and a 3' Alien model including tail was used in this way.
A small number of shots contain CGI elements were used, most notably the cracking alien head. Other CGI elements
include shadows cast by the rod puppet alien, and airborne debris in outdoor scenes.
Tom Woodruff, Jr. played as the lead Alien, ADI based their designs and
modifications of the Alien creatures on the film's script, which included
the creatures having pointed tails for swimming, making their head and chins more pointed, and
establishing them to appear more vicious using techniques of camera angles and shot duration. After
receiving the director's approval, ADI began to create small sculptures, sketches, paintings, and life-size models.
Blue Sky Studios was hired to create the first CGI Aliens to appear on film. Impressed with the company's
work on Joe's Apartment creating CGI cockroaches, Jeunet and Pitof opted to hire the company to create 30 to
40 shots of CGI Aliens. The decision was made to use CGI Aliens rather than puppets or suited actors
whenever the creatures' legs were in frame, as Jeunet felt that a man in a suit is easy to distinguish
when the full body is seen.
Alien v Predator
Tom Woodruff, Jr. again played as the lead Alien listed in the film's credits as Grid, after
a grid-like wound received during the film.
Special effects company Amalgamated Dynamics Incorporated (ADI) were hired for the movie, having previously
worked on Alien 3 and Alien Resurrection. Visual special effects producers Arthur Windus and John Bruno were
in charge of the project, which contained 400 effects shots. ADI founders Alec Gillis, Tom Woodruff Jr.,
and members of their company began designing costumes, miniatures and effects in June 2003.
In MPC's soho, London studio, accurate computer models and matching textures were painstakingly
built for both the Aliens and Predators in order to exactly match those of their live-action counterparts.
A hydraulic Alien puppet was created so ADI would be able to make movements faster and give the Alien
a slimline and skeletal appearance, rather than using an actor in a suit. The puppet required six people
to run it, three for the head and body, two for the arms, and a sixth to make sure the signals were reaching
the computer. Movements were recorded in the computer so that puppeteers would be able to repeat moves that
Anderson liked. The puppet was used in six shots, including the first fight scene with a Predator which took one
month to film, this was filmed using both hydraulically and animatronic Alien and an actor in a suit.
MPC effects animators provided the final ingredients in the film including steaming blood, alien saliva, explosive debris and swirling snow storms.
For these scenes, MPC's artists created entire environments, and utilized an extended version of MPC's
proprietary crowd software "ALICE" (created for the studio's work on Warner Brothers 'Troy') to create
a swarm of over 16,000 squirming alien warriors
Aliens v Predator: Requiem
Tom Woodruff, Jr. again played as the Aliens and the other titular species of the film. Having
previously portrayed the Aliens
in Alien 3, Alien Resurrection and Alien vs. Predator, Woodruff reprised the role for Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem,
also portrayed the Alien/Predator hybrid creature, dubbed the Predalien by the production team.
CGI was used in the film for the Alien's tails and inner jaws, whereas they required puppeteers and wire removal on previous films. CGI was also used for the Face Huggers and Aliens in the initial sequences as the Aliens escape and cause the spacecraft to land near Gunnison.