My recent visit to Pixar Animation Studios for the Incredibles 2 press day included several informative presentations, today I’m excited to share some of the animation highlights with my readers from two of those presentations:
“Anatomy of an Action Scene” led by Story Supervisor Ted Mathot, Layout Supervisor Mahyar Abousaeedi, Animator Kureha Yokoo and Effects Artist Amit Baadkar – We listened to this incredible team explain the breakdown of an action scene from INCREDIBLES 2 and then they talked about how it all comes together in the final film.
“Creating the World of INCREDIBLES 2” led by Production Designer Ralph Eggleston, Visual Designer Philip Metschan, Shading Art Director Bryn Imagire and Sets Supervisor Nathan Fariss – They shared with us how the worlds in INCREDIBLES 2 came together, both through architecture and design, and urban planning.
I’m going to start by sharing that I’ve seen the first 22 minutes of Incredibles 2, along with a few clips and action scenes during this press event and wow, if the trailer has you excited for the film – just wait, what I have seen is really good and action packed!
All of the animated films at Pixar start with a story reel. A story reel is basically a drawn version of the story. It is also a blue print for the film and moved through all of the departments to be referred to throughout the whole creative process.
During Anatomy of an Action Scene we watched an exciting runaway train scene staring Helen (Elastigirl). A lot of thought and a lot of work went into how Helen uses her Elastigirl abilities for this scene, particularity the way she stops the train. As Elastigirl, she can get into the small spaces and turn herself into a parachute. That’s what makes her the perfect Super for the job. The scene is not short on excitement, I can promise you that.
To make an Incredibles movie an “Incredibles movie” there has to be a balance of super and mundane, there can never be too much super without being mundane and there can never be too much mundane without being super… for example in the middle of this scene, a high-speed chase scene, Helen answers a phone call from home – it’s Bob and the kids arguing and looking for Dashes high-tops, which is a totally believable experience for any mother that works outside of the home. Keeping that balance was a priority throughout the entire film making.
Three things that go into creating an animated action scene.
1. There is a lot involved in taking a reel, with a scene that is already pretty good, and pushing it to add more details to make it even better.
2. Much like planning a complicated live action sequence, an animated feature also runs into challenges. They worked with a live action stunt coordinator for a lot of action scenes in this film.
3. On this runaway train scene there was a team of six animated effects artists that worked on glass destruction, sparks, smoke and explosions.
Creating the World of Incredibles 2
To think of all of the details that go into creating an animated world is truly mind-blowing. Everything you see and a lot that you probably don’t even notice has to be created from scratch. Part of what makes an animated film great is the amount of details and effort that goes into those features. The architecture, design and urban planning are what makes the world what it is.
For Incredibles 2, the team ended up scrapping what they had at six months and moving in a new direction, leaving only 2.5 to 3 weeks to create the new Parr home that we see in the film, a 20,000 sq. ft. stunning house. This house was greatly inspired by James Mason’s house in North by Northwest and this house was 100% built from scratch by Pixar artists. We got to watch a tour of the house and some of the film footage, WOW, it is beyond amazing! There is a slick, round sofa that I just want to relax on and if you look really hard, you will spot a very cool swimming pool bottom in the ceiling of the den!
The INCREDIBLES 2 world took a lot of planning. The animation designers had to create everything you see within the environment; every prop in the background, plants, objects, costumes, it all had to be carefully designed.
Three things that go into creating the world of Incredibles 2
1. The world in an animated film is very much a character in the film, it has to support the film, provide the feel, textures, and lighting.
2. The designers will often make all of the lamps, rugs, toys and other objects ahead of time and store them in a program (they called it a warehouse) until they are ready to add color, texture and place them where they belong. This process is called set dressing . It’s a lot like going shopping they told us.
3. The world of “Incredibles” used a lot of bold colors to establish a visual language and feel for the film, and the art team wanted to make sure this style was consistent in “Incredibles 2.”. Looks to me that they succeeded! I cannot wait to see the rest of the film.
INCREDIBLES 2 opens in theatres everywhere on June 15, 2018!
In INCREDIBLES 2, Helen (voice of Holly Hunter) is called on to lead a campaign to bring Supers back, while Bob (voice of Craig T. Nelson) navigates the day-to-day heroics of “normal” life at home with Violet (voice of Sarah Vowell), Dash (voice of Huck Milner) and baby Jack-Jack—whose super powers are about to be discovered. Their mission is derailed, however, when a new villain emerges with a brilliant and dangerous plot that threatens everything. But the Parrs don’t shy away from a challenge, especially with Frozone (voice of Samuel L. Jackson) by their side. That’s what makes this family so Incredible.
Like INCREDIBLES 2 on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PixarTheIncredibles/
Follow Disney/Pixar on Twitter: https://twitter.com/disneypixar
Follow Disney/Pixar on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/pixar/
Visit the official INCREDIBLES 2 website here: http://disney.com/incredibles2
Get a better look at the Incredibles Super-Home, it’s currently listed on Zillow!
Watch for more Incredibles 2 updates be posted here soon! You can also read my previous blog posts about my day at Pixar Animated Studios for the Incredibles 2 Press Event by clicking here.
Disclosure: I was provided with travel, food and lodging in exchange for my coverage. All opinions expressed are still honest and my own. Some photos and images were provided by Disney/Pixar.