Tintin’s Virtual Art – Computer Graphics World
Having followed CG animation from the early years of tweening vectors, I am blown over by Tintin. It blurs the dimensional reality of a rendered world within ours. Motion capture and character kinetics are extremely well done. This is a stark contrast to the good yet discernible motion graphics of “Final Fantasy” – the 2001 CGI flick. It was indeed a treat to watch the movie and now play the game on multi-platforms.
Computer Graphics World –
You could say that Avatar set the stage for The Adventures of Tintin. The animated feature, directed by Steven Spielberg, features digital comic-book characters acting with the help of performances captured from actors using a process similar to one James Cameron developed for Avatar.
Similarly, to help set the stage for the production and help Spielberg visualize the 3D world in which Tintin would act, virtual art department supervisor Robert Powers, now vice president of 3D development at NewTek, assembled a virtual art department, much as he had done for Avatar. (For an in-depth look at the digital magic used to create the characters and environments in Tintin, see “Animation Evolution” in the December 2011/January 2012 issue of CGW.)
What is a virtual art department?
We are the interface between the art department and production. We take the concept art paintings and translate them into 360-degree worlds. Our challenge is to take a single point of view from a concept painting and create that same impression in a 360-degree world. We set up what Steven [Spielberg] wanted to do on the sets, working from concept art paintings from Weta. Did you work virtually? I had a team of 15 people in LA—a group of artists, me, and a coordinator. We had assignments from Weta because they were in charge of quite a bit of the production, and I went down to New Zealand to help Weta get up to speed on virtual art. I was on the film for eight months.