Sunday, September 15, 2013

A trip to Digital Graphics in Liege , Belgium.


Digital Graphics is located in a beautiful old red brick farmhouse in Wallonia. 


Sfx Maestro Jeremy Purcell lays out his plans to build up an entire stormy sea from a hand animated library of waves , splashes and foam combined with cg water and watercolour textures applied to the tvpaint animation at compositing .

Sometimes the "painters palette "used for digital ink and paint can look quite strange. Here we see ben in an uncharacteristic shade of pink. 

And ferry dan is a bit off colour looking here too - but all will be well on screen in the final output. The crazy colours help the ink and paint team tell where two subtly different colours overlap .

Damien shows us a scene of grannys car leaving the ferry kicking up a load of smoke. The smoke is designed like several charcoally smudges with lighter chalk lines drawn inside which is then animated with a particle system .

I took these iphone snaps last week when we visited Digital Graphics in Liege who are responsible for all the ink and paint, texturing ,compositing and cg efx in our film. 

Serge Ume and his team are old friends by now and its always a pleasure to visit their beautiful studio. The compositing we saw of a couple of early scenes was exciting and rewarding to see , all the work of the past year comes together at this stage. 

Even though we still have some major sequences to animate I feel like we are entering the final stretch of the visuals. 

The brainy folks in dg have developed some impressive new tools for ink and paint that mean they are basically painting scenes as fast as we can deliver clean up drawings... Its kind of amazing that just five people can handle all the ink and paint for the whole film.

The sequences that use the rougher pencil look and watercolour style are coming together well too , we are benefiting from techniques that digital graphics pioneered on the lovely film - "Ernest and Celestine."

Our hand drawn and anime studio efx supervisor Jeremy Purcell came over and  went thru the plans for the stormy sea sequences which combine a number of handdrawn elements with an anime studio boat and dg water efx. 

Adrien and I were happy to see the characters beautifully matched to the bgs painted in Luxembourg and Kilkenny and our Cartoon Saloon production manager Katja Schumann who is also an accomplished compositor herself came to get her head around the process dg uses in order to best prepare for the final seqs deliveries and to help iron out any last problems.

As usual many belgian frites , 
beers and chocolates were consumed and we arrived home happy and looking forward to seeing all the past years work coming together over the next few months.

Serge Ume , studio head , compositor ,coproducer, architect and Ink and Paint artist at work .
Two of our Belgian comrades discuss how rain falling on some Irish nettles should effect the leaves , they have developed a "plip plop" library of rain drop animations for such scenes.

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