Industrial Light & Magic will leap into the full-length CG animation film business with Paramount's RANGO.
The film, directed by Gore Verbinski and using the voice talents of Johnny Depp, will be keyframe-animated and will utilize some new techniques. In addition, ILM's proprietary iMocap system will be used only for "deep reference," according to a spokesman.
Hal Hickel will lead the animation team, with John Knoll heading up the visual effects team. ILM is looking to tweak the pipeline to accommodate the increased volume of character work, to provide a clear workflow and to not disrupt the pipeline for other ILM shows.
ILM will begin recruiting for top-level talent for Hickel and Knoll's teams, especially vfx specialists for the technical directors.
RANGO, which is rumored to be about a household pet who goes on an adventure of self-discovery, will be a hybrid of photoreal vfx and animation, but all work will be done by ILM, not by Lucasfilm Animation. The film will be character driven with environments coming second.