Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
10 Films Booed at Cannes That Every Cinephile Should See 10 Films Booed at Cannes That Every Cinephile Should See 5 Things You Didn't Know About Lars von Trier, Who's Going Back to Work 5 Things You Didn't Know About Lars von Trier, Who's Going Back to Work The Eerie Connection Between 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' and 'Tomorrowland' The Eerie Connection Between 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' and 'Tomorrowland' Digging Into the Cannes Lineup: More Vet Auteurs and Women, No Netflix Digging Into the Cannes Lineup: More Vet Auteurs and Women, No Netflix Ryan Gosling in Talks for 'Blade Runner' Sequel, Damien Chazelle's 'La La Land' Ryan Gosling in Talks for 'Blade Runner' Sequel, Damien Chazelle's 'La La Land' You Can Now Read Over 200,000 Leaked Sony Emails and Documents You Can Now Read Over 200,000 Leaked Sony Emails and Documents Watch: The New 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' Trailer Has Landed Watch: The New 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' Trailer Has Landed Watch the Teaser Trailer for Quentin Tarantino's 'Hateful Eight' Watch the Teaser Trailer for Quentin Tarantino's 'Hateful Eight' Watch: This Exclusive Tribeca Trailer Promises a Vérité Southern Gothic in Malick Vein Watch: This Exclusive Tribeca Trailer Promises a Vérité Southern Gothic in Malick Vein 7 Things to Learn from 'Mad Men' Creator Matthew Weiner About Compelling Storytelling (EXCLUSIVE VIDEO) 7 Things to Learn from 'Mad Men' Creator Matthew Weiner About Compelling Storytelling (EXCLUSIVE VIDEO) 'Queen of Earth,' Starring a Gloriously Unhinged Elisabeth Moss, Goes to IFC 'Queen of Earth,' Starring a Gloriously Unhinged Elisabeth Moss, Goes to IFC Cary Fukunaga Takes Over Long-Stalled 'The Alienist' as TV Series Cary Fukunaga Takes Over Long-Stalled 'The Alienist' as TV Series Why the Istanbul Film Festival Cancelled Its 2015 Competition Why the Istanbul Film Festival Cancelled Its 2015 Competition The Dramatic Story Behind Satyajit Ray's 50s Masterpiece 'The Apu Trilogy' (Exclusive) The Dramatic Story Behind Satyajit Ray's 50s Masterpiece 'The Apu Trilogy' (Exclusive) MTV Movie Awards 2015: The Highs, the Lows and the Winners List (Videos) MTV Movie Awards 2015: The Highs, the Lows and the Winners List (Videos) Arthouse Audit: 'Ex Machina' Leads Four Big Openers, Kristen Stewart Opens 'Clouds of Sils Maria' Arthouse Audit: 'Ex Machina' Leads Four Big Openers, Kristen Stewart Opens 'Clouds of Sils Maria' The New Ladder: Anatomy of Indie Women's Picture 'Farah Goes Bang' The New Ladder: Anatomy of Indie Women's Picture 'Farah Goes Bang' Here's the First Image of Emma Stone and Joaquin Phoenix in Woody Allen's 'Irrational Man' Here's the First Image of Emma Stone and Joaquin Phoenix in Woody Allen's 'Irrational Man' Kristen Stewart Explains How She Held Her Own with Juliette Binoche in 'Sils Maria'--and Won a Cesar Kristen Stewart Explains How She Held Her Own with Juliette Binoche in 'Sils Maria'--and Won a Cesar Scientists Choose the 10 Best Sci-Fi Movies Ever Scientists Choose the 10 Best Sci-Fi Movies Ever

Immersed in Movies: Exploring 'ParaNorman' VFX

Photo of Bill Desowitz By Bill Desowitz | Thompson on Hollywood January 25, 2013 at 2:57PM

In addition to its best animated feature Oscar nomination, the stop-motion "ParaNorman" has also distinguished itself with a few VFX noms from the Visual Effects Society. It's a testament to both "ParaNorman's" individual accomplishment in pushing verisimilitude and Laika's commitment to transcending the limitations of stop-motion...
0
Angry Aggie

In addition to its best animated feature Oscar nomination, the stop-motion "ParaNorman" has also distinguished itself with a few VFX noms from the Visual Effects Society (whose 11th annual VES Awards takes place February 5 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel). It's a testament to both "ParaNorman's" individual accomplishment in pushing verisimilitude and Laika's commitment to transcending the limitations of stop-motion while still retaining the hand-crafted nature of the animation.

"It's not exaggerating to say that 'ParaNorman' couldn't have been made without VFX," says director Chris Butler. "And that's what was always exciting to me about the project in the first place. We were pushing stop-motion into new territory, which included the scope and the scale. And those are two things couldn't have been realized if the movie had been done entirely practically. We wouldn't have been able to have the town be such an expansive place; we wouldn't have had so many locations; we wouldn't have had so many characters. A big part of the movie in the third act is the mob. And one thing that always bothered me about stop-motion movies was that a crowd of people usually meant three puppets. And that was always underwhelming to me as an audience member. Being able to have a proper mob is entirely due to VFX."

VFX supervisor Brian Van't Hul was tasked with overseeing the CG augmentation for the graveyard and Main Street (both of which have been nominated by the VES), along with the CG crowds. He says the goal on "ParaNorman" was to go beyond the traditional table-top-like environment associated with stop-motion.

"With CG and digital set extensions we've been able to open that up to the horizons to try and make it feel like a bigger world," Van't Hul explains. "And part of that is populating it, so Chris put us in charge of setting it up for digital background crowds. It takes a lot of time to make one digital puppet and then to animate it so to try and have a crowd of 100 or 200 background people meant doing it digitally. Plus we have all the invisible stuff that you never see on screen. For instance, a lot of the physical puppets can't stand on their own weight as they jump or run and all the rods and rigging have to be painted out."

This article is related to: Immersed In Movies, ParaNorman, Animation, Interviews , Video


E-Mail Updates