Earlier this month, Disney-Pixar invited AllEars down to Pixar Studios to take an early look at their upcoming “Incredibles 2.”
[Unattributed photos and video provided by Disney]
After we were shown a few sequences from the gorgeous but still-in-progress film, we were treated to a few panels by the “Incredibles 2” filmmakers. First off were Ralph Eggleston (Production Designer), Philip Metschan (Visual Designer), Bryn Imagire (Shading Art Director) and Nathan Fariss (Sets Supervisor) on “Creating the Worlds of Incredibles 2.”
Bryn Imagire and Ralph Eggleston
–Production design and art directors come up with the overall look of the film and its specifics.
–They then build corrals of visual information that everyone can understand and utilize.
–Different areas for which they create the starting points: Character design, environments, props and dressing, sets, costumes and costume changes, textures, and lighting.
–One main architectural influence for the city was “mid-century mundane:” Mid-century elements that exist in-between iconic structures.
–The world of the Incredibles is not about “small.” Structures are bigger than life, with the characters as small details.
–Safari Court is a motel where the family lives for some weeks after some unfortunate incidents.
–Iconic textures of this time period that were incorporated include sleek, simple furniture shapes and “nubbly” fabrics.
–The new Parr home was reworked after an initial design to give the impression of an arrow shooting upwards.
–Terrazzo floors were a big mid-century design element they used in the Parr house, with their appearance of a luxurious aggregate of materials.
–An effort was made to bring the “outside in” with plants, water features, dark exotic woods.
–The pre-vis department makes simple 3-D models that can serve as a prototype for subsequent iterations for easier collaboration.
–They create maps and try to choreograph how the characters live within the spaces.
–The set department takes a lot of the concept art, research, and pre-vis, and turns it into the environments you see in the film–the props, architecture (inside and out,) vehicles, vegetation, etc.
–Sub-departments of modeling makes the objects, and set dressing arranges them in a design that creates and is consistent with the look of the film. Shading adds color and texture and determines how an object reacts to light, while set extension and skies fill out the world and create the world in long shot.
–Because the film utilizes so much of the city from so many angles, the set department took the time to create an entire virtual city for it.
–Even elements that were carried over from the original film needed to be reworked because the technology is so different and the purposes for which they were used in the film were often different, such as the Underminer’s drill vehicle.
–To ease the viewer into the slightly different technical look between films, an effort was made to keep the very beginning of the film consistent with the first “Incredibles,” with a progressive improvement in rendering, etc. as the drill vehicle goes first underground and then back up again.
The next group presenting was Ted Mathot (Story Supervisor), Mahyar Abousaeedi (Layout Supervisor), Kureha Yokoo (Animator), Amit Baadkar (Effects Artist) on “Anatomy of an Action Scene,” in which they broke down the process of creating a high-speed runaway train chase with Elastigirl on her Elasticycle.
–Hand-drawn story reels are where the sequence starts, in the story department.
–In the first pass, Helen was the only active participant in the chase. It was decided that it would be logical for the police to be involved, which gives Helen more obstacles and introduces a world view into the scene.
–The key to the reality of “The Incredibles” is a balance between the mundane and the super, so Helen is required to field phone calls from her family on routine household matters regardless of her state of urgency.
–How Helen might enter and stop the train was reconceptualized in order to make her problem-solving solution distinct to her super abilities.
–Layout then takes the finalized story reels and cinematically translate them into film.
–While the chase kept its sensation of speed on the ground, alterations of the terrain and frequent checkbacks with the train were necessary to keep the action moving once Elastigirl takes to the air, leaping from building to building.
–Because the Maglev train wouldn’t have conventional brakes, they needed to figure out how Helen could stop the train using her specific powers and thinking her way through, rather than muscling it as Mr. Incredible might.
–Creating the Elasticycle, their main concerns was that it match her style and be an extension of her powers–flexible and nimble.
–Although the bike had to enhance Helen’s super-capabilities, it was important that it not make her so invincible that there be no stakes in the chase. The audience has to remember that Helen has her vulnerabilities as well.
Between panels, we were treated to a short tour of the terminally cool Pixar campus and the “Incredibles 2” concept art displayed around the atrium and corridors. Everyone wanted a job here by the time it was over.
More to come!
“Incredibles 2” comes to US theaters June 15, 2018.