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'The Hobbit' Dwarves: Before and After Hobbit-Transformation

New Line/NZ Herald

Turning yourself into an authentic Middle-Earth dwarf is not easy. Trust us, we've tried. Not only do you need to grow an incredible beard, you also need to become tremendously stout of both limb and heart, be able to simultaneously count and kill orcs and also stand no more than four and a half feet tall. Good luck, right?

Luckily, though, "The Hobbit" director Peter Jackson has basically perfected the art of turning regular people into Middle-Earth legends and now we have a fantastic pictorial guide to those transformations that allows you to see a before-and-after guide to just how he did it.

Of course, Jackson has some pretty solid help turning a squad of pasty British actors into a fine film fellowship; his team at WETA, after all, won a bushel of awards for their work on "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy. And since effects technology has advanced by leaps and bounds just in the nine years since "The Return of the King" hit theaters, it's no wonder that these are some of the most impressive on-screen transformations yet.

Take a look at these composite pictures of Martin Freeman's Bilbo Baggins and the company of dwarven heroes, courtesy of The New Zealand Herald, and see if you don't agree:

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