Friday, May 23, 2008
Stitch arrives on Earth
When Stitch arrived on Earth for the first time, he didn't exactly get a warm welcome. This was the very first sequence that we completed in the making of Lilo & Stitch, as well as one of the most enjoyable to create. It challenged us to create fully 3D sugar cane trucks, and put them convincingly in to a 2D water colour painting environment, and drench the whole thing in pouring rain. The basic falling rain that we used was re-used from the film 'Mulan', but the little splashes hitting the pavement were new hand drawn elements. We instanced three different splashes to a surface particle generator in Maya,to give a convincing perspective look to the rain drops hitting the ground. Stitches ray guns were actually modeled in Maya, and then we used these models to help us hand draw the guns accurately. ( We were still developing a CGI line rendering look for the film, using Disney proprietary rendering software called 'Inka' that was ultimately used for the countless CGI props in the film)
Running over Stitch with the trucks was a very involved process. The trucks were animated rough for a first pass, and then Stitch was animated being squished and thrown around between the wheels. This animation then went back to the CGI animators who squashed and ripped the tires and heaved the trucks around violently, to react to running over a bullet proof, invincible 2D cartoon character.
It is a beautiful sequence, and tells the story of Stitch arriving on earth with finesse and a powerful punch!