Scott Peterson presents Madagascar 3 at FMX 2012
Discover the production design challenges of DreamWorks’ new animated feature, and how animators solved them
Today through Thursday, 3D World is at FMX 2012 in Stuttgart. Visit 3dworldmag.com to stay in touch with the conference as it unfolds, with coverage of presentations from the industry’s key figures and a flavour of what it’s like to visit Europe’s leading CG conference.
We’ve had a short break, during the sound system has treated us to some some funky bass, and the offical opening speeches have taken place. Now we’re in the company of Scott Peterson, head of effects at DreamWorks Animation. He’s talking about the production design challenges of Madagascar 3.
There were a few laws the team established, although Peterson points that at times they were less laws than suggestions. All elements should demonstrate exaggerated proportions and not use parallel lines, for example, to create the feel of a cohesive world.
Although there are several international locations, the heart of the movie is in Monte Carlo, so that location was built out far more than the others. The buildings followed the film’s laws by having no parallel lines in their design – a style Peterson calls “wack”. Scenes also intentionally showed fewer details in the backgrounds, so each building had to have several versions depending on wherenthey were in relation to the camera.
DreamWorks created a tool called Mod Facade to store individual components to make buildings easier to assemble – essentially prefabricated, says Peterson.
For human characters, the team pushed hard to make the designs more varied than in previous instalments. Peterson shows the dozens of variations developed to diversify the characters. There were 15 body types and six head types, all of which could be mixed and matched.
The variations extend to details like facial hair and spectacles, as well as textures.
The world’s design principles even extended to effects such as explosions. Peterson explains how the well-known broken spiral design, seen in the character noses for example, was replicated in the explosion by taking the gradients of the the explosion and rotating them. This was all achieved in Nuke.
To end, Peterson shows a vivid circus performance where some shots are almost abstract in their simplicity. Challenges include flooring where the lights had to be below the surface.
on Tuesday, May 8th, 2012 at 12:08 pm under Events.
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Tags: FMX 2012