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THE ADVENTURES OF ROCKY AND BULLWINKLE

About The Animation
In launching their search for the right movie magicians to animate the top-billed characters, producers Rosenthal and Ward looked to the industry's finest special effects experts, Industrial Light & Magic, to conceive the TV icons in an entirely new realm.

"This was a key element to me as to how Rocky and Bullwinkle were going to look now that there's all this new technology," Ward states. "We've always seen them as 2-D characters. We wanted them to look very much like they did in the animated show, but we wanted to give them dimension."

The contributions of visual stylists David Andrews (animation supervisor) and Roger Guyett (visual effects supervisor) transcended the original show's somewhat crude drawings. Both movie magicians began their contributions to the project during pre-production, with each joining the shooting crew for its entire 15-week live-action schedule. Once principal photography concluded in late May, the partners returned to ILM's San Francisco base to begin their lengthy computer animation production.

According to Guyett, "We had about a year's worth of work when we finally wrapped."

Andrews, a five-year ILM vet who supervised the animation on Small Soldiers and Mars Attacks! and was a computer graphics animator on Jumanji and Casper says, "You can't have limited animation like the original show. It just won't hold up to the live-action plate. You could compare this film to Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, but that still looks like a drawing, too. This will have more of a 3-D form to it."

Guyett adds, "People are used to looking at much more complex kinds of animation these days. The original was fairly limited animation with a particular look to it...two-dimensional animation that was hand-drawn or painted. With 3-D, you have a virtual camera inside the (computer) system that matches the camera used to shoot the actual photography. When they move around, the characters have much more of a sense of dimension, and are able to interact with objects or people within the scenes."

"Animation is composing a picture and getting a performance in that picture," Andrews conveys about his collaboration with his ILM colleague Guyett, who most recently completed similar chores on the Academy AwardÒ -winning Saving Private Ryan. "The visual effects aspect of the plate shoot is the layout for putting the animation in the frame. To be succinct, Roger is like the digital cinematographer and I'm the digital performer," Andrews adds.

While Andrews focused on creating personalities for the digitally-enhanced heroes, Guyett concentrated on the more logistical elements necessary to marry the live-action plate to the computerized characters.

"My job entailed integrating Rocky and Bullwinkle into the shots, what sorts of shadows they cast and how they would interact with the world around them," says Guyett.

Andrews and Guyett also supervised the key plate shots on the set which served as the background element, or layout, in terms of the animation.

"Back home, we did our animation layouts of the characters themselves, all the poses they would do," Andrews elaborates. "We composited them together with that background plate. After that, we put our computer graphics model, a virtual three-dimensional puppet, in there. Then we did a kind of stop-motion animation, a key frame animation technique, to bring them to life."

"We tried to find a way of updating the look of Rocky and Bullwinkle without losing the charm of the old ‘50s and ‘60s cartoon," Guyett continues. "Also, in the original cartoon, their screen time was limited. Now, we had to sustain the look and appeal of the characters across a much longer piece of work. It<

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