Mary and Max: Elliot and Clayography
"The Canon RAWs were converted into log color space 10-bit DPX files in one step. This is the equivalent of a traditional film scanning process. The advantage of our workflow is that we maintain all the dynamic range of the original files captured by the Canon cameras. Going from RAW to DPX we cross the boundary from digital stills to motion pictures in one quick clean step and that's a key thing. The DPX file format is a known standard, which means we can work efficiently with other key software in grading and visual effects. We most often used The Foundry Nuke and Autodesk Combustion for visual effects. The vfx slate on Mary and Max was very ambitious as there were well over 500 shots which required work. This was all completed by our in-house vfx team led by Lead Visual Effects Artist and VFX Supervisor, Mick Allen."
Elliot says "the most painful part of the shoot was the day we had to sell all the camera gear, art supplies, equipment, etc. We had to do this because the film was funded partly by the Aussie taxpayer and by law all assets had to be sold. This money then went back into the budget so the film could be finished. The most exhilarating moment would easily be standing backstage with Robert Redford in Sundance about to show the opening night audience a film that had taken my crew and I five painful years to make. We were the first animated and first Australian film to ever open the festival in its 25- year history. Thankfully, they all loved the film and we survived!"
Bill Desowitz is senior editor of AWN & VFXWorld.