Tippett's Scott Liedtka Talks The Smurfs
Tippett Studio brought their expertise to Columbia Pictures' THE SMURFS. Scott Liedtka, the co-visual effects supervisor, answers some questions about their work.
How many sequences did you work on? What were the key sequences?
101 shots, plus 10 still frames for the end credit roll, 17 sequences. The key sequences are when Azrael gives a performance - in Gargamel's castle, throwing up a hair ball while with Gargamel on the park bench, with Gargamel at the fancy lunch - and when Azrael is giving chase to Smurfette and the rest of the Smurfs - in the park when they first arrive in New York, in the FAO Schwarz toy store and in the Belvedere Castle when Smurfette is trying to free Papa Smurf from the evil machine that Gargamel has devised.
What was the most challenging aspect of the work?
The most challenging aspect of the work was finding the character of Azrael. As is common with a show where a live cat performance is mixed with face replacement shots and shots with a full CG cat, finding the balance in a CG shot between a more cartoony performance that is really funny and a more realistic performance that will cut with the live cat in other shots takes time and that balance often changes over the course of the show. We have been in this situation before, so we can offer a lot of help to the filmaking team as they find the balance that works for them.