Sunday, 24 June 2018

Digital Cel Animation

Del Monte parrot animated by Frank Furlong, BBM&FAs co-founder of Sidley Wright & Associates, one of the most interesting projects was the development of one of the first digital ink and paint systems outside of Disney. The purpose was to give an "added value" to the company in addition to the 3D animation and 2D compositing services The Pagemaster starring McAuley Caulkinalready offered. The Pixar computer had been adopted as the compositing engine of choice because it produced by far the highest quality and resolution composites available at the time and was well suited to feature film work. By writing custom software, cel animation line art could be scanned on a flatbed scanner then digitally "inked and painted" on a computer workstation then composited on the Pixar computer and filmed out on 35mm film. This was a bold innovation that meant for the first time digital effects could be mixed into a classically animated feature film. Keep in mind this is in 1991, years before digital effects had become common.

FernGully: The Last Rainforest directed by Bill KroyerThe first animated feature film to take advantage of this new process was Bill Kroyer's "FernGully: the Last Rainforest". Over 30 digital effects shots were produced for FernGully with all of the animation Kellog's Cornflakes commercial animated by Dave Spafforddigitally inked and painted, composited on the Pixar, and filmed out on a Solitaire Cine III film recorder. The next feature film project was Turner Film's "The Pagemaster" which featured very complex multi-layer shots that were impossible to do with conventional "cartoon cameras". Digital effects shots for three more feature films, over a dozen animated television commercials as well as the animated video "Mortal Kombat: The Journey Begins" were created with the proprietary digital ink and paint software.

Click here to see all credits for Digital Cel Animation.


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