DVD Releases For June 24, 2008
At Double Negative, Visual Effects Supervisor Jesper Kjolsrud oversaw a team that included Compositing Supervisor Andy Lockley, CG Supervisors Alex Wuttke and Rodney McFall and VFX Producers Dominic Sidoli and Stuart McAra. "One of the most exciting things about this project was that it allowed us to delve into creature animation on a very large scale," Wuttke recalled. "We were in charge of creating the saber tooth tiger and the terror birds. Double Negative is mainly known for its work on environments and invisible effects. So, 10,000 BC came as a perfect opportunity to stretch our muscles in the animation realm. Coincidentally, while working on this movie, we were also creating Grawp for HARRY POTTER AND THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX. Both movies were a turning point for us."
The first step was to build a creature pipeline that could withstand the needs of the project. Maya, associated with many proprietary tools, formed the basis of the platform, along with RenderMan and Shake. "We invested a lot of time into developing a proprietary fur system from the ground up," Wuttke noted. "We wanted to have the flexibility to groom the fur exactly the way we needed."
THE SPIDERWICK CHRONICLES On DVD And Blu-Ray
From the best-selling series of books comes an extraordinary fantasy adventure THE SPIDERWICK CHRONICLES from Paramount Home Ent., revealing the unseen world that exists all around us. From the moment the Grace family moves into a secluded old house peculiar things start to happen. Unable to explain the accidents and strange disappearances, the Grace children, Jared, Simon and Mallory start to investigate and find the unbelievable truth of the Spiderwick Estate and the amazing creatures that inhabit it.
Directed by Mark Waters (MEAN GIRLS), the film features an all-star cast including Freddie Highmore (CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY), Mary Louise Parker (WEEDS), Sarah Bolger (IN AMERICA) David Strathairn (GOOD NIGHT, AND GOOD LUCK), Nick Nolte (TROPIC THUNDER) and the voices of Seth Rogen (SUPERBAD) and Martin Short (JIMINY GLICK IN LALAWOOD).
The amount and variety of unusual creatures from the five volumes was so daunting that the visual effects had to be shared by two studios: San Francisco's Industrial Light & Magic and Berkeley's Tippett Studio. Visual effects pioneer Phil Tippett was creature supervisor for the overall production. On set during the entire principal photography, he worked with the visual effects team from his own studio along with the team from ILM to coordinate the nightmarish logistics involved in combining live action with CG.
The team at Tippett Studio included in-house Creature Supervisor Joel Friesch, who also served as co-visual effects supervisor with Blair Clark, CG Supervisor Russell Darling and Animation Supervisor Todd Labonte.
Explained Clark: "We did all of the animation and design work on Hogsqueal, the Troll, Redcap, the goblins and bull goblins, as well as lighting, texturing and compositing and doing the final output."
At least, they knew what they were getting into from the very beginning. In fact, Tippett Studio openly pitched Paramount to secure the project as Clark elaborates. "We had a lot of people who were very aware of Tony DiTerlizzi's books, myself included, and I always thought they would be really cool turned into a movie... So, we were very interested when we heard that it was being looked at [for a feature film]. We had a little bit of down time after finishing a show (CHARLOTTE'S WEB), and we had an elite modeler, Sven Jensen. He had some time and we asked him to make a little 3D goblin based on Tony DiTerlizzi's drawings in the books and in the field guide, which pretty much all through the production was always used as the bible."