Friday, May 30, 2014

Paperman (2012) - Combining 2D and 3D


Short film "Paperman."

"Paperman" is a romantic little animation that's actually been around for a while, running before "Wreck-It Ralph." It won both the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film at the 85th Academy Awards and the Annie Award for Best Animated Short Subject at the 40th Annie Awards.

It is an unusual animation, being a short film from Disney that has all scenes, character models and props modeled in 3-D and afterward rendered mostly into 2-D visuals. It looks like 3D, but it really isn't, so calling it 3D would be a misnomer. Basically, they rendered the whole thing in Black-and-White 3D models and textures and then they went back frame by frame and drew the traditional Disney animation. The software created to make Paperman was created specifically to make 2-D out of 3-D animation and models, so it is an experimental video in a format called "final line advection."

John Kahrs is George, Kari Wahlgren is Meg, Jeff Turley is the boss.

The short was produced by Walt Disney Animation Studios and directed by John Kahrs, who claims it stemmed from his own experiences commuting into Grand Central Station in New York City. Having done the same into Penn Station, I can verify that this is the kind of thing you kind of wish would happen at some point, though it never does. You see someone and wonder if you should go say hello, and then you figure you'll see them again the next day or some other time and you never do. Perhaps it's an old friend from high school or just someone who strikes your fancy. Naturally, when you have time to think about it later you realize you should have just gone over and said something. Call it a "commuter fantasy." Everyone who spends enough time taking the train into the city has a story or two like that...

Incidentally, the standard way to try and hook up between buildings like that isn't the paper airplane method, that would never work because of the wind and distance and, well, it's just too small a target. Besides, windows in the city are almost always closed, especially on the avenue side. Instead, you get the biggest piece of paper or cardboard that you can find and you write your phone number on it in as big and dark a manner as you can, then you hold it up to the window and jump up and down like an orangutan until the other person sees you. Then, she laughs and closes the blind.

Now, how would I know this?

Anyway, it's a cute video and well worth a look.

There are various copies of this floating around of varying quality. Here's another version should the one above doesn't work:


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