Hunter Six

A little portion of an image for something in the works. Whether or not any thing comes of it or not is another matter...not exactly flush with time at the moment as lots of other small bits and bobs taking priority!

Anyway, in answer to Laurent's question about how we made "The Pirates!", yes, there is a stage between the storyboards and when the animators bring it all to life. As "Pirates" was such an ambitious project from a technical standpoint (blending CG elements with stop motion) there was a Pre-Vis stage. Once the boards were done the Art Department finalised the set design...there was a fair amount of back and forth so we'd board something rough and they'd figure out a set design and it would come back to story to use as reference and then go back to them etc. As well as coming to story their designs were also built in low poly CG, creating a virtual replica of the set. The characters would get placed in and moved around to match the storyboards so that the camera work could be figured out and how much virtual set would be needed in the final shot. To an extent they could also plot out lights and what lenses would be used on the cameras, although the DOP's would do this on the set floor. One of the big benefits of the Pre-Vis stage was that with everything plotted out, a path could be programmed and sent to the motion control unit (big machines capable of replicating the exact same camera move down to the bloody nanometre) and hopefully it wouldn't hit any rigging! The pre-vis stage is one of those stages that the public misses out on though. In early test screenings audiences were shown a combination of storyboards, WIP animation (lots of Green) and also whatever finished shots were available!

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