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Pengu Map

14 comments
The reality about working on animated pictures is that it is not all pretty pictures and fun conceptualizing. Once the project moves into "production" the job entails that we solve location problems, come up with cost effective design solutions, control sightline placement, or provide for the overall structure or mechanics of ANY given object.

A virtual world is still a world, and so it must be thought of in terms of 3D -- THE ENTIRE WORLD must be thought of as a real physical place.

In this case I had to design Pengu Island, I took it upon myself to work this out. Granted, we never see a top down vantage point in the film, but still the design had to be made to have the 3D modelers create the island.

With every new location, I tried to imagine the most effective way of communicating my designs or art direction to everyone on the project. We had already done several drawings of the beaches, the whale landing station, Reggie’s trinket bazaar, the stage and the Big Z Memorial. Now we had to tie it all together, I thought perhaps an elevation map would be the best way in this case.

The foreground areas marked in color are those areas we modeled, for the rest we used lower res models and matt paintings.

This drawing shows the topography, with added layers of elements for placement -- such as rocks and other various locations. Each new element had its own layer. Ultimately, there were other layers with bush placement, tree placement and prop placement. The drawings were then put into a design package and delivered to the modeling department in a presentation.

14 comments :

George kaprielian said...

Hey. wow very technical. I'm confused. I thought animation was a bunch of guys sitting in a room drawing funny pictures.

Ale said...

This is brilliant Marcelo. And it definitely comes up in the film, I love when watching a movie you can feel that there is continuity in the location study and it actually does make sense! ;)
keep this up!!

Dave said...

Cool. It's great to see how you planned parts of this film out - thanks for sharing!

Jeff Harter said...

This is a great and informative blog. Looking forward to more posts.

Shuku said...

Elevation studies. You know...that's a brilliant idea as Ale says, and it DOES make a great deal of sense...

...and now I'm going to have to brush up on all this sort of study if I ever want some semblance of sleep ever again aren't I. :)

Great idea and -great- drawing too! Geography, here I come (again)!

--Shuku
Singing 'Ghost in the Shell' at the top of her considerable lungs

bog_art said...

Wow.. you are right.. animation process is not as funny as it looks like.. althoug you are a really master designer..

Allen Capoferri said...

Still it's fascinating and I suppose should be consideration at the conceptualizing stage.

jesse said...

A good look into the practical side of making 3-D feature films.. Nicely done!

Sam Nielson said...

Very interesting post. I'm always having to solve problems like this for the modelers too, but I always figured that in feature animation some kind of magic in the air made it all unnecessary. However, the brilliance of your topographical map and profile view show me that there is, in fact, still magic involved.

Ryan Wood said...

WOW, great sketch! It's nice to see such attention to detail on something like this.

Alina Chau said...

BEAUTIFUL!

proconpictures said...

yes, life is more real than most people imagine it! i feel ya. but in the end when all is done you're all happy and after a while you usually forget all the hardship.

Adrian Ropp said...

Marcelo, thank you for sharing this... Some of my mentors used to tell me I wouldn't be able to enjoy movies any more as I became more involved in the industry. On the contrary, knowing these sorts of details are what makes a movie like "Surf's Up" look so beautiful, I am more excited and appreciative.

Wonderful post as always!

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