Converting a beloved and iconic comic strip into a 3D animated feature is a considerable task – Blue Sky Studio opens up and shares some of their processes in bringing Peanuts to the Big Screen.
‘When in doubt, go back to the strip.’ That was The Peanuts Movie director Steve Martino’s mantra during production on Blue Sky Studio’s newest CG animated film, according to animation supervisor Scott Carroll, who fxguide spoke to recently at the VIEW Conference in Italy.
The strip Martino is referring to is, of course, Charles M. Schulz’s beloved Peanuts comic starring Charlie Brown, Snoopy and a host of familiar neighborhood characters. Blue Sky was determined to stay faithful to the 2D world of Peanuts despite the 3D world in which the film would exist. That meant coming up with a wave of artistic and technical solutions to still ensure the studio would always be going ‘back to the strip’.
While researching 50 years of Peanuts strips, Blue Sky quickly realized that Schultz (nicknamed ‘Sparky’) drew his characters from only limited camera angles and in proportions that worked for the particular frame they were in. But translating a Sparky-drawn character directly to 3D would immediately cause strange in-betweens and interpolations and cause the characters to go off-model. So Blue Sky had to work out 3D ways to echo the 2D drawings. The solution was effectively to retain thse front-on and profile views and occasionally sculpt and animate specifically to the camera.
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Rare 1979 ‘The Empire Strikes Back’ pre-production interview with makeup artist Stuart Freeborn on the creation of Yoda.
Taste of Cinema picks their favorite 30 silent films that should make up your film watching diet.
The birth of Hollywood as we know it, however, only came about in the 1910’s, when production moved from New York to California and the Industry started organizing itself. By then, features had proved appealing to middle-class audiences and WWI had devastated the major competitors in the business – the Europeans. It was enough for American producers to gain the upper hand.
Charles Chaplin, D.W. Griffith, Buster Keaton are among the pioneers of filmmaking. They experimented in narrative techniques, editing, mise-en-scène and gradually established the basic elements of the ‘film language’. Meanwhile, the medium strived to find respect and disengage its image from the cheap nickelodeons.
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Wired interviews the J.J. Abrams on what it’s like to direct the most anticipated film of the year.
We wanted to tell a story that had its own self-contained beginning, middle, and end but at the same time, like A New Hope, implied a history that preceded it and also hinted at a future to follow. When Star Wars first came out, it was a film that both allowed the audience to understand a new story but also to infer all sorts of exciting things that might be. In that first movie, Luke wasn’t necessarily the son of Vader, he wasn’t necessarily the brother of Leia, but it was all possible. The Force Awakens has this incredible advantage, not just of a passionate fan base but also of a backstory that is familiar to a lot of people. We’ve been able to use what came before in a very organic way, because we didn’t have to reboot anything. We didn’t have to come up with a backstory that would make sense; it’s all there. But these new characters, which Force is very much about, find themselves in new situations—so even if you don’t know anything about Star Wars, you’re right there with them. If you are a fan of Star Wars, what they experience will have added meaning.
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Already an award-winning stage director, Sam Mendes burst onto the movie scene with American Beauty, winning the Directing Oscar for his first film. Other films followed, but didn’t have quite the same impact. And then James Bond came into his life. After his second outing with 007, Mendes chatted with David Poland about the film, the journey, and about what might be next.