Have you seen Sony’s latest attempt at swiping Pixar and Dreamworks from the best Feature animation studio’s crown?
Because of it’s really plain looking character design, “Cloudy with a chance of meatballs” might have flown under the radars of a lot of animation fans but if you go pass the designs, you will realise that the underdog is a new home run from the Culver city studio. Yes the story is not revolutionary but that movie is once again a great piece of entertainment served with amazing rendering, gorgeous visual effects, funny lines and wacky animation.
One of those wacky shots I am referring to is the Eyeball shot by the dock.
How lucky! David Anthony Gibson, the animator behind it: has decided to share with use some insights.
As someone put it in the article’s comments:
“this is the most interesting step-by-step blog post I’ve ever seen. and I’m glad you covered something that is rarely done in CGI”
This is probably the first time ever a CG animator shares on a blog, the thought process he went through when crafting one of the most interesting and probably the most unique shot in Sony’s “Cloudy with a chance of Meatballs”.
In his post, David is giving us a detailed walkthrough on how he tackled a sequence of shots from Storyboard to final animation but don’t go away, this is not one more Step to Spline post or, video reference to final shot footage(ref. Jeff Gabor). This is the detail of the creative process he went through when, I have to repeat this again, crafting a CG shot.
What I find fascinating is that he goes on explaining how he went about coming up with creative ideas while still respecting the design briefs (“Shape of the teeth following the shape of lips”, “always change the shape of the pupil if it was pressed against the edge of the eye”…) .
If this is not enough to seduce you into reading his article, listen to that funny extract where he explains how he was able to finish the lip sync despite having spend so much time pulling out the Eyeball business.
“I knew doing all of Sam’s lipsync was going to take a long time…so I searched deep and realized that as an acting choice she might cover her mouth as she steps backwards. HAHA! No one ever questioned that bit of rock solid logic. “