3D World

- Arts · Ireland · County Kilkenny · Aurora

quite long. [It was hard] to get that up to such an in­ten­sity with­out be­ing too jar­ring.” Sim­ple di­a­logue mo­ments are not easy to achieve. “There is a scene when Robyn is talk­ing to her­self and pre­tend­ing to be her dad talk­ing back to her,” states Moore. “She is walk­ing up and down pick­ing things up, putting them down and mov­ing them around. All that was tricky work. Some of the action stuff is over fast; you might make a lit­tle mis­take with con­ti­nu­ity but don’t no­tice it be­cause there is so much to see, but not when it’s a small scene with a cou­ple of char­ac­ters.”

Much to the amuse­ment of his child­hood friend Ste­wart, Moore has fully em­braced the an­i­mals that may ac­tu­ally get rein­tro­duced to Ire­land af­ter be­ing ex­tinct for 250 years. “My beard is get­ting more wolfy!” laughs Moore. “The wolf is called Mac Tire in Ir­ish which means ‘son of the land’. It isn’t like a big bad wolf idea. It’s more like a pro­tec­tor or re­spect­ful at­ti­tude to the other apex preda­tors.

It’s fas­ci­nat­ing that Ire­land has for­got­ten that. We didn’t see the land as some­thing to be used for our own ben­e­fit but as some­thing we shared.” A proud mo­ment was an­i­mat­ing to ‘Run­ning with the Wolves’ by Norwegian singer and song­writer Aurora Ak­snes. “Tomm and I wanted to make sure it was a real vis­ual mas­ter­piece, be­cause it’s sup­posed to con­vey the pure joy that Robyn has when ex­pe­ri­enc­ing the world as a wolf,” ex­plains Ste­wart. “In there we had some de­mand­ing shots of ‘wolfvi­sion’ along with epic shots of a pack of wolves run­ning. It was very tech­ni­cal in an­i­ma­tion, lay­out and com­posit­ing. Then it all has to work to a song. From the feed­back that we have got­ten most peo­ple love that se­quence.”

EF­FECTS & COM­POSIT­ING

Es­sen­tial for ef­fects was be­ing able to match the il­lus­tra­tions cre­ated by co-art di­rec­tor Maria Pareja. “Ev­ery­thing was done with Tv­paint and some fixes

with Moho,” states FX su­per­vi­sor An­dreu Cam­pos. “We would try to split the illustrati­on into dif­fer­ent el­e­ments and th­ese lay­ers would be given to the com­posit­ing de­part­ment to match to the fi­nal look. All of our work was hand-drawn an­i­ma­tion, done frame by frame.” Shad­ows were prob­lem­atic. “A lot of times the shad­ows don’t match with the point of light be­cause it is some­thing ex­pres­sion­is­tic. At the end of the movie when all of the magic is flow­ing around the char­ac­ters, that’s a good ex­am­ple of team­work be­cause we had to match our work with the an­i­ma­tors and what would later be done by com­posit­ing. We worked with com­posit­ing so that they could re­use the ef­fects in dif­fer­ent ways.”

All of the com­posit­ing was done within Nuke. “There are a lot of dif­fer­ent styles in the movie,” re­marks head of com­posit­ing Serge Ume. “The main prob­lem for us was to find a way to make dif­fer­ent stuff but at the same time have a graphic style that matched to­gether. It was not easy to do. The shad­ows in the town are straight and in the for­est they’re more like wa­ter­colour. We tried to keep ev­ery­thing in vol­ume but at the same time re­ally flat. A lot of tools were de­vel­oped to add tex­ture to the char­ac­ters, blush of the cheeks or make dif­fer­ent treat­ments for the lines of the town and for­est. A big part of the movie is dur­ing the night so there is a lot of pro­gres­sion of light­ing. In the mid­dle of the movie there are four or five dif­fer­ent se­quences and the sun is going down. It was not easy to man­age but was im­por­tant for the story. We worked closely with Maria based on the con­cept she did, and all of the colour scripts that we had were re­ally help­ful in comp.”

“WE HAD 10,000 FOLD­ERS FULL OF REF­ER­ENCES WE WERE US­ING TO BUILD AN EN­VI­RON­MENT THAT FEELS REAL” Maria Pareja, co-art di­rec­tor, Wolfwalk­ers

Be­low (top): As her friend­ship with Mebh de­vel­ops, Robyn be­gins to in­te­grate with the for­est an­i­ma­tion style

Bot­tom left: Pre­vis of the magic ef­fect

Bot­tom right: The wolves show­case a play­ful side in­side the den with Mebh and Moll

A BE­LIEV­ABLE WORLD

Re­search was an im­por­tant el­e­ment in mak­ing the en­vi­ron­ments be­liev­able. “We went on a few trips with the back­ground team to do re­search of the Ir­ish for­est that we have around Kilkenny and in the city it­self, to check the streets and see how ev­ery­thing was in terms of colour, shape and how to push all of those,” ex­plains co-art di­rec­tor

Maria Pareja. “At some point we had a mess of 10,000 fold­ers full of ref­er­ences and pic­tures we were us­ing to build that kind of en­vi­ron­ment that feels real. You’d be able to say, ‘I could imag­ine some­one grab­bing the bas­ket or light­ing that fire’.”

The set­tings had an im­pact on the char­ac­ter de­sign and vice versa. “We had to work with the char­ac­ters at the same time be­cause the back­grounds had to match them,” states Pareja. “I was afraid in the be­gin­ning that they would look like sticker char­ac­ters, but at the end we man­aged to sim­plify the back­grounds, and com­posit­ing did an amaz­ing work adding tex­tures to the char­ac­ters so that both of them matched to­gether per­fectly.”

“For Tomm and Ross,” Pareja con­tin­ues, “I was like a tool to com­mu­ni­cate to the other de­part­ments. I was do­ing a lot of ref­er­ence for ef­fects when the back­grounds fin­ished so An­dreu Cam­pos could repli­cate them. I re­mem­ber the first time I saw the first comped scene it was in the house of Bill and Robyn. I was like, ‘Oh, my god!’. It was cool: with the an­i­ma­tion, ef­fects, and colour it in­stantly felt like they’re alive and liv­ing there.”

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 ??  ?? Top: Wolfvi­sion as imag­ined by Maria Pareja
Bot­tom: An ex­am­ple of a Wolfvi­sion ren­der cre­ated by Blender
Top: Wolfvi­sion as imag­ined by Maria Pareja Bot­tom: An ex­am­ple of a Wolfvi­sion ren­der cre­ated by Blender
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