Sunday, 30 January 2011

Fantasia Mosaic (IX)

Here is a new sequence from Stavinsky's Rite of Spring and we are at the beginning of our story - directed by Paul Satterfield. I'm afraid I can't be too long because I'm going to see The King's Speech today and I need to do as much as can write.

In terms of effects animation, this is one of my favourite animation effects in a Disney feature or any other films that I have ever seen. They look so real, and alive and amazing that the effects are not shared by other effects animators - the draft appear to credit only one name of each credit.

In this section, this appears to be the "Genesis" sequence - with the eruption of volcanoes and craters, and lava pouring down the empty Earth. I like how the sequence starts of with. The planet is very empty, and all you can see are clouds and red/pink atmosphere. Until, suddenly you see some invisible (on what looks like tracks), but I don't know what it really is exactly. The scene was animated by Ed Aardal, and it looks difficult to achieve that - I wonder how he drew that.

It appears to be that each effect animators in this sequence take turns on animating the different types of effects - and for example Ed Aardal and Don Tobin appear to animate a lot of the mudpot scenes - while Don Tobin (again) and Paul Kossoff animate the lava scenes pouring down - and with a bit by Jerome Brown. While Art Palmer animates a lot of the really rough sea coming to the surface, and it looks like God is creating the land. Dan MacManus appears to animate the whirlwind/fire shots.

I like the lava and mudpot scenes a lot - it makes it really believable and really oozy. In this type of lava, you can easily be burnt to crisp there, and it looks real. Although, what I do find a problem about this is that it really feels a lot like liquid water pouring down, by Paul Kossoff.

Shot 54 - with the rocks and lava going down the waves is one of my favourites in this sequence, it looks really rich, and I wonder what it really would be like for actual lava going in water - although, I'm not really a great scientist (myself), but I do try and improve - but I wonder what effect, does that do to the lava in the water.

I like the effects a lot, and probably my favourite of the lot are the lava and mud pot scenes - they really look so real and believable. Ed Aardal and Don Tobin are the main animators for those stuff, with Paul Kossoff doing the lava. I also like the like the eruption of the lava striking in 32.1. but the bad news is that I haven't got time to do a framegrab as I will be leaving shortly.

As Paul Satterfield is the director, his direction suits well here because Bill Roberts directs the dinosaurs and evolutionary sequences, and Satterfield would direct the earthquake sequences. I wonder what Satterfield would've done on Bambi as both Roberts and Satterfield were sequence directors - would they have both shared sequences, or directed their sequences separately.

Art Palmer's water effects is pretty cool and he certainly puts a lot of potential there, but to be honest - I don't think the water looks as believable as the stuff on The Sorcerer's Apprentice because in those water effects, you could easily drown or take a sip in those water, while here in The Rite of Spring it looks like that you could easily get crushed by the pressure of the waves, and it certainly doesn't look like drinking water.

In shot 58 - I never really knew at the time on what it actually looked like because I couldn't make out what it was - but in the draft it says "clouds and lightning", Mmm - it didn't look like it to me, but as I'm looking carefully at it, it does look a bit like it, except the clouds are strangely drawn to me, they didn't look like clouds at all.

Oh, I should point out that I now have the new restored film on me (the Platinum Edition), and it makes the mosaic look really appealing, and that's what I'm trying to do - because I thought that earlier it didn't look too appealing because of the quality - but now I think it looks much, much better, so hopefully feedback will get better.

Well folks, I'm afraid I'm going to have to leave it here because I'm going to be off to see The King's Speech (and I may write a review on the film), and see what I thought about it. I know, it has been a bit short, but this was the only time to do it because after watching the film - I would be back to school later and that's when I'm offline during the week.

Stay tuned.


Eric Noble said...

Great job. The Rite of Spring seems to be the most effects driven sequence, outside of Toccata and Fugue and Ave Maria. I am always amazed by the sheer creativity the artists put into their work, whether it be character or special effects animators.

Steven Hartley said...

Agreed, I think the 'Rite of Spring' has more effects animation than any other segment in Fantasia. Walt Disney said (from Brian Sibley's blog), 'If we had to do Fantasia all over again - I don't think that we could make it.'

It looks like the animators and artists who worked on Fantasia had to work their butts to make the film look good - starting with "Snow White".