Thursday, 4 October 2012

Paperman Progression Reel


Normally, I don’t share videos that aren’t by myself on this blog, but this work of beauty still fascinates and outstands me even after the three days since seeing it, so I figured what the hell.





Paperman is an upcoming short film from the Walt Disney studios and it’s a technological work of art, and one of the most innovative pieces of ‘tradigital’ animaiton I’ve ever seen.  While the practice of incorporating 2D with 3D animation isn’t anything new, this is unique in the way that they’re drawing vectorised contour over the 3D models and keying them.  Two separate key drawings is literally all it takes for the rest to figure out the planar fields and calculate how they morph.  It’s obviously a lot more complicated then that but you get the general idea.  What is especially great about the whole appeal is that even though they’re cleaning up the contour with vectors, they’re making it look sketchy and subtly rough giving it that much more traditional look.  It’s especially suited to the noir look of the film.

I was talking to one of my tutors about this the other day and he begged the question of “Why not just do the whole thing in 3D, or the whole thing in 2D since this is a company that could achieve such high standards in either field?”

Well, who said you can’t reinvent the wheel?  With a lot of people complaining that 3D technology is taking over and they prefer the look of pencil drawn animation, I think it’s great to see elements from both field being intertwined like this and it shows there’s always room in animation for experimentation.  And no matter how many computers fill up a room, there's always room for a pencil.

© Walt Disney Company

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