A Bliz­zard of Ef­fects

Animation Magazine - - Features -

HeHere are a few fac­toids about Frozen’s mind-bend­ing tech­ni­cal and vfx achieve­ments:

Elsa, the Snow Queen, is one of the most com­plex Dis­ney char­ac­ters ever. Ac­cord­ing to char­ac­ter CG su­per­vi­sor Frank Han­ner, Elsa has about 420,000 hairs on her head. “Just as a point of com­par­i­son, one of our last fa­mous Dis­ney lead­ing ladies, Ra­pun­zel, only had 27,000 hairs,” says Han­ner.

Cal Tech pro­fes­sor Dr. Ken­neth Lib­brecht, a.k.a. Dr. Snow, of­fered ad­vice about snow and ice for­ma­tions to the vfx team. The ef­fects group cre­ated a snowflake gen­er­a­tor that al­lowed them to ran­domly cre­ate 2,000 unique snowflake shapes for the film. “When­ever you see any snow fall­ing in this film, if you stop in on a frame and you zoom in, it’ll be one of th­ese 2,000 dif­fer­ent snowflake shapes,” says ef­fects su­per­vi­sor Dale Mayeda. Over­all, 23 dif­fer­ent types of snow flur­ries were cre­ated for the movie.

One of the big­gest chal­lenges for the ef­fects team was cre­at­ing be­liev­able vari­a­tions on ice, snow and frost, us­ing th­ese new sim tech­niques. Pre­sent­ing the team with hours of hard work was the task of cre­at­ing “an­kle-deep to knee-deep and waist-deep snow,” says Mayeda.

Another key in­no­va­tion was us­ing spe­cial cam­eras that are equipped with LED lights that can track mo­tion. This helps put the ef­fects an­i­ma­tion in the vir­tual world, us­ing cam­era rig set­ups with mo­tion sen­sors. This sytem sys­tem al­lows smooth move­ment frame by frame and pro­vides nat­u­ral move­ment.

Ac­cord­ing to Han­ner, about 312 char­ac­ter rigs were cre­ated, more than any other Dis­ney movie to date. Frozen also re­quired 245 cloth rigs—more than

all the cloth rigs cre­ated for the stu­dio’s movies com­bined!

Chris Buck

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.