UNDERDOG, starring the classic canine superhero, arrives on DVD ($29.99) and Blu-ray Disc ($34.99) today (Dec. 18) from Walt Disney Studios Home Ent. UNDERDOG seamlessly blends live action and CG effects to turn America's favorite animated superhound into a real live hero.
Jason Lee (THE INCREDIBLES, MY NAME IS EARL), Jim Belushi (ACCORDING TO JIM), Amy Adams (TALLADEGA NIGHTS, ENCHANTED) and Patrick Warburton (SEINFELD, KIM POSSIBLE) star in the story of Shoeshine, an unassuming beagle (voiced by Lee) who flunks out of K-9 training and falls into the clutches of the unscrupulous Dr. Simon Barsinister (Peter Dinklage).
Leading the charge was VFX Supervisor Hoyt Yeatman, who recruited several heavy hitters to realize director Frederik Du Chau's vision of a photoreal canine who could fly and dazzle a younger audience for whom realism is so critical.
They included Cinesite and Framestore-CFC facilities in London to post the project, which showcased the work of Realscan 3D Inc. in Redondo Beach, California, a mobile 3D scanning house whose proprietary technology is used to build exact digital doubles of talent and objects that can be matched quickly to live-action plates.
Yeatman was able to develop a high dynamic range imaging (HDRI) lighting rig to speed the lighting and compositing time. A prototype unit was built to capture HDRI at the time of photography with key assists from a former partner from his days at Dream Quest Images and his brother in Switzerland, whose specialty is programming computer systems for equipment. Cinesite and Framestore-CFC used the HDRI for their respective post-production pipelines.
This was a huge help to David Eggby, the film's DP, who was able to light scenes in the both physical world and CG realm. His options would have been limited prior to this technology. Since color temperature, exposure value and other variables lose their meaning in a CG environment because of the virtual technology used to replicate the live action, most, if not all, of the assessments are done by the naked eye.
Both the DVD and Blu-ray Disc come with the following bonus features:
* Never-before-seen Bloopers* Deleted Scenes* UNDERDOG RAPS -- A music video featuring Kyle Massey, star of Disney Channel's CORY ON THE HOUSE.* Sit, Stay, Act: Diary of a Dog Actor -- Shoeshine gives fans a peek at the making of the movie from his point of view.* UNDERDOG Original Cartoon Episode--"Safe Waif," the very first cartoon episode featuring the caped canine.
The Blu-ray version includes these additional features:
* Simon Barsinister's First Television Appearance -- An additional original cartoon episode featuring the first appearance of Underdog's underhanded nemesis.* Additional Deleted Scenes