Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Madame Tutli-Putli

Stop motion animation combined with live-action eyes:

"The special visual effects were produced in collaboration with acclaimed portrait artist Jason Walker. The puppet eye effects demonstrate a first in the field of animation: a seamless, unnerving integration of human and puppet performance. This innovative process, created by Walker for the film, required meticulous precision and involved the placement of real human eyes onto individual puppets. For each scene, the puppet's animation was analyzed and corresponding human facial expressions were filmed in order to match the puppet's motion. The eye performances required long rehearsal time, great patience and precise notes. Once the live-action eyes were filmed, Walker then individually positioned, digitally scaled, painted and re-timed the footage for nuance and believability of gesture. The extraordinary result of this process is a new kind of puppet: one with the soul and memories of a living being."

The effect is pretty remarkable. I wonder if this technique could be used in cgi animation to overcome the "uncanny valley" effect in movies like Polar Express and Beowulf.

Link: Official Madame Tutli-Putli page.