Mickey Gets Magical
Created 11/19/2001 - 00:00
Quiet Man completed the visual effects on a new spot for Walt Disney World via Yellow Shoes Creative Group featuring Mickey Mouse using some visual magic to create theme park adventures. As "Hat Trick" (:30), directed by Richard Sabean of Access Films opens, Mickey appears in his famous sorcerer's apprentice costume standing in front of four wooden buckets containing different colored substances. By adding some "magic" to each bucket, Mickey ends up with four Disney World theme parks, each with its own "amazing things to do." As children are seen having fun at the parks, Mickey uses his conical wizard hat to collect magic from each bucket, and throws the hat into the center of the action where a much larger hat magically appears. The spot concludes with Goofy enthusiastically telling Mickey, "You throw quite a party!" "We've worked with Yellow Shoes before, though not on such an animation-intensive spot," said David Shirk, head of the Quiet Man 3D department and animation director for "Hat Trick." "This was a wall-to-wall effects extravaganza, with a great deal of animation in virtually every shot." "We were involved early in the project, so we had some input into how the spot would be put together, which always helps," he added. "The key challenge was to establish the look of Mickey's magic. We went through all kinds of versions, but it still took hours to nail the look. The effects were surprisingly complex." Once the extensive pre-production preparations were completed, the Quiet Man team established a pipeline to create the effect that would be repeated in virtually every shot. "We essentially had to take the same animation setups and recreate them for each shot that involved Mickey and his magic buckets," said Shirk. "Mickey ultimately throws different colors of magic at the various theme parks, each of which were filmed at different times of day. While everything looked great when laid over a black background, the lighter color backgrounds created some issues. But once we had established the general look, it was mostly a matter of reinterpreting each shot," he added. Quiet Man's Peter Amante was lead compositor on "Hat Trick." "The job required several passes over multiple layers, as well as compositing and believably integrating some heavy-duty 3D into the live-action," Amante explained. "It was great to work with Inferno because there were so many layers. Each bucket had about eight layers. I added appropriate reflections on the live-action footage to make it appear that the 3D animations were part of the scene. The job also required a great deal of rotoscoping and matte cutting. In all, it required 20 straight days of intense work, but then this was a great spot.