Paperman – A short animation from Disney

Disney have produced this charming short animation telling the story of a chance encounter at a train station and the struggle and desire to seize this moment and convert it onto something more meaningful. FX Guide has an in-depth look at the story behind the short, including detail on the technical considerations in achieving the painterly 3D look.

What the article doesn’t discuss, but was something that struck me, was its suggestion of the paintings of Edward Hopper in both the use of  light, and the framing of shots through window openings; the young woman on the train as seen from the platform, the young woman in the office as seen from the outside, the young man in the office as seen from the outside. Then, as the credits roll, we see the young couple sat within a cafe, framed by the large window and a view of the sunny exterior. At least here (and this is Disney after all) we are provided a happy conclusion. In the work of Hopper, the characters are usually alone and never happy.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Update: Paperman won the Oscar for Best Animated Short at last nights Oscars!

Stereoscopic Tests

As the middle of 2010 began shaping up to be as quiet as the two previous summers I looked at ways to expand on the services I already offered my clients. One client in particular asked me to come up with some proposals for an animation for a mirror maze and this in turn set me off exploring the theory and processes behind stereoscopic 3D. After wrestling with convergence and inter-ocular distances I came up with two main pieces; the first was a new sequence within a mirror maze, the second a re-working of an old architectural walk through.

None of the jobs I pitched for came off but I did at least get to learn something new and hopefully useful for the future. The anaglyph version of the walk-through re-render is here:

Stereoscopic 3D Animation Test – Co-op Bank Walk-through from jm@lightwell.co.uk on Vimeo.

Best played in HD mode and red/blue anaglyph glasses are required to see the 3D.