Happy Feet Two: More Thrills and Krills
And it was obviously a challenge to animate the Krill. "They are very complicated rigs because they have 10 legs and 10 arms. From a facial performance position, they've got the big, long nose with the feelers out the front and then the round eyes. We spent a couple of months analyzing and then creating different movements for George, both swimming under water and running around on the ice. We tried everything from making them like dogs to horses, keeping all their legs together and moving them all apart. I know early on, George thought it was important that we see the humanity in them.
"So he put constraints on us. He did not want eyes on them like chameleons; he wanted independent eye movement and binocular eye vision like humans; they've got tiny eyebrows above their eyes, but, honestly, I never thought the audience would see those, so we spent a lot of time working with the angle of the eyes and the shape of the lids to get different expressions and the dilations of the pupils themselves. And then I was concerned that the audience wouldn't be able to read their mouths because their noses were so long so George spent a lot of time with the layout and lensing people to get the right angles on them way before we even started animating, and depth of field was also a challenge because they're so small. And what are they going to look like when they're moving around, so a lot of investigation with those guys. It was a lot of fun, too: all the animators wanted to animate the Krill."
Bill Desowitz is former senior editor of AWN and editor of VFXWorld. He has a new blog, Immersed in Movies (www.billdesowitz.com), and is currently writing a book about the evolution of James Bond from Connery to Craig, scheduled for publication next year, which is the 50th anniversary of the franchise.