The Return of the Moomins
According to Stereoscape producer Ilkka Peltola, this project has been a marriage of nostalgia and cutting edge technology. Working closely with director Maria Lindberg and Carpelan, Stereoscape tried to find the right balance between an immersive experience and a family-friendly comfort level.
"The conversion process is called 'Hybrid Off-line 2-D to 3-D,'" Peltola explains. "This way, we have a great balance on cost-efficiency compared to some other conversions. Basically, the conversion contains a few phases. First of all, the source material (2-D images) is analyzed and the staff prepares for the conversion by reviewing the original material and its depth cues. Our conversion staff is highly experienced and consists of people from both technical and artistic backgrounds. So, there are people who have PhDs and there are professional painters as sort of a counterbalance. Both types of 3-D artists are vital in our conversion flow, as they bring their own points and pragmatics to the table.
Another challenge was making the stereoscopic experience enjoyable for young children (who apparently experience the third dimension more drastically). "We have been emphasizing the quality and responsibility in the use of stereoscopy," Peltola continues. "Thus, we've made the stereoscopic movie to be more suitable for everyone to watch. We've done some qualitative tests for the use of depth with Moomins and it has had an important role in confirming our expectations. I think that the type of content, audience and main purpose for the use of 3D decide very much on what kind of a role stereoscopy should have and how it would be utilized as a filmmaking tool."
Carpelan adds, however, that they are not finished with final stereoscopic work: "We will not try to approach the same kind of depth as in Alice in Wonderland or any of these other movies because we want this film to be seen by a much younger audience. So we are now testing and balancing the final depth and will most likely increase it a little from the version we are now showing in Cannes."
Bill Desowitz is senior editor of AWN & VFXWorld.