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THE BOXTROLLS Stop Motion By Laika Animation
June 21, 2014
The Boxtrolls by Laika

10 Animation Directors to Follow on Twitter
February 13, 2013
1. Lee Unkrich Director of Pixar’s Finding Nemo and Toy Story 3



2. Brenda Chapman Director of Dreamworks The Prince of Egypt and Pixar’s Brave



3. Chris Butler Director of Laika’s ParaNorman



4. Peter Lord Director of Aardman’s Pirates! An Adventure with Scientists



5. Andrew Stanton Director of Pixar’s Finding Nemo, Wall-E and Disney’s John Carter of Mars



6. Peter Sohn Director of Pixar’s short Partly Cloudy



7.  John Kahrs Director of Disney’s Paperman



8. Saschka Unseld Director of Pixar’s short film The Blue Umbrella



9. Brad Bird Director of Pixar’s The Incredibles and Ratatouille



10. Chris Sanders Director of Dreamworks How To Train Your Dragon and The Croods

PARANORMAN 3D Blu-ray Release
January 28, 2013

PARANORMAN 3D Blu-ray

Directed by Chris Butler & Sam Fell

PARANORMAN 3D Printed Characters
January 28, 2013

Featurette: Faces of ParaNorman

ParaNorman fuses CG modeling in Maya and physical model making to produce character faces, using a new technique called Powder Printing. The process for Replacement Animation is a progression of 3D Printing or Rapid Prototyping (see Coraline article) and is now so advanced that even the smallest detail can be reproduced and the surfaces coloured.
The Art and Making of PARANORMAN
January 28, 2013

The Art and Making of ParaNorman by Jed Alger

PARANORMAN Trailer 2 – Laika
March 2, 2012
CORALINE Blu-ray UK Release
April 11, 2011

CORALINE 3D Blu-ray
Dir: Henry Selick

If you are interested in animation in any way at all, CG or otherwise, I recommend that you buy Coraline on Blu-ray. The film is a masterpiece of animation.
CORALINE Trailer – Laika
May 11, 2009

CORALINE In Digital 3-D
May 11, 2009

Coraline Crawls Through a 3-D Depth Enhanced Tunnel to the Other World

Having purposely waited to see a 3-D feature, amongst the recent surge of films (started by Chicken Little in 2005) and since the announcement that Coraline would be made in 3-D, I can honestly say that it was worth the wait as I thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

The technology behind 3-D, such as the development of digital projectors and filters etc has moved on, but the 3-D experience in the cinema hasn’t really changed a great deal since I first witnessed polarized 3-D (as opposed to red and blue anaglyph 3-D) 10 years ago in the IMAX film Encounter in the Third Dimension (3-D) Although it has taken a while to arrive in regular cinemas, major film companies have now started to embrace the technology, producing films with great stories as opposed to simply showing off new technology. This is maybe due to the fact that they have realised modern cinema audiences are getting used to computer animation and want something more.


Other Dad and His 3-D Enhanced Piano Hands

Coraline is shown in RealD which uses circular polarized light for better performance. The 3-D effect was not used as just a gimmick as I first feared, rather to create a more immersive experience, to enhance the immaculately detailed character design and sets which make up the entire world in which the quirky storyline is set. It seems to succeed the most when the effect is pushed ‘into’ the screen, past the original screen plane to create depth. This depth is mostly noticeable in scenes such as the purple tunnel to the other world and when scenes have a narrow depth of field, such as at the dinner table. Although it is present, there is not too much strobing and bluring when the effect is pushed ‘out’ of the screen.
“If I was ever lost about how much 3-D to use, I would just look to the story. Very much of what is coming off the screen – once you start to go there, it really makes it difficult to edit and it hurts your eyes if you don’t do it right. Where it served the story, to just have a couple of moments, like a needle in your eye, the trapeze, a few things…but mainly I used it to try and get people to come into the world with Coraline.” – Henry Selick
Coraline in 3-D: magic and artistry come to life (Cineplex article)

However much I love computer animation, Coraline in 3-D lends itself to stop-motion and wouldn’t have been half as immersive if it was created entirely in CG. I am in two minds though whether I would rather watch a feature film in pristine regular High Definition digital format or whether I should embrace the new 3-D technology wholeheartedly. The trailer to Pixar’s new film UP did look fantastic in 3-D.

Future 3-D technology where polarized glasses are not required, which the boffins are calling Auto-stereoscopy 3-D is currently in development for both the cinema and LCD/Plasma screens. I don’t know if the existing 3-D effect will be successfully transferred to regular living room HD plasma screens, what with the special projectors, lenses, filters and depolarization screens involved in the RealD cinema process. Maybe a cut down, less advanced technique will emerge as twice the amount of existing Blu-ray data has to be displayed.
Coraline: Rapid Prototyping 3D Models
February 20, 2009

Mr Bobinsky Drops In On Coraline


Thousands of 3D ‘Printed’ Face Shapes Were Produced For Coraline


Head Awaiting The Interchangeable Face Shapes

 

Example of Rapid Prototyping On A Connex500 3D Printer by Objet.


Rig and Seam Removal and Compositing in Coraline

CG Society Article One Step at a Time for the Puppet of a Thousand Faces describes how a ‘new to stop-motion’ technique was used in conjunction with Maya within the production pipeline of Coraline to actually print out 3D computer models. The technique known as Rapid Prototyping with 3 Connex500 3D printers from Objet Geometries proved vital in creating characters, props and more importantly, the thousands of intricate models required for smooth face shape replacement. The article also has info on how CG was used for rig & seam removal.

Coraline is out now in the US and is due for release in UK cinemas on 8th May 2009 and stars the voice talent of Dakota Fanning, Teri Hatcher, John Hodgman, Ian McShane, Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders. It is the first stop-motion film to be released in 3-D