Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Brother Bear's Transformation

On Disney's 'Brother Bear' I was responsible for designing and creating all of the 2D and 3D special effects for the transformation sequence. The watery light tendrils that reach down out of the sky are 100% CGI, and then when the the effect shoots down and impacts the ground, it is a combination of a 3D column of light, and traditional hand-drawn 2D splash effects animation. Jazno Francouer and I animated the 2D liquid effects, and Jason Wolbert handled the CGI elements. The column of liquid light streaming down is 50% CGI, and 50% hand-drawn. Then when Kenai pierces the light with his spear, the real fun begins. We experimented for months with various ways of creating realistic, yet highly stylized aurora borealis effects, that we could integrate with traditionally animated animal spirit characters. The final product is a complex mish-mash of 2D and 3D special effects and character animation. The shifting colours of the northern lights play on an animating 3D surface upon which we also projected various levels of hand drawn animal animations running to and fro.

It is a special effects tour-de-force of which I will always be very proud.