QUEST FOR CAMELOT
The Animation Process
Outstanding animation artists from all over the world joined forces to bring "Quest For Camelot" to life, creating vivid characters in a uniquely beautiful setting
Outstanding animation artists from all over the world joined forces
to bring "Quest For Camelot" to life, creating vivid
characters in a uniquely beautiful setting. Classic animation
techniques, combined with the latest possibilities in CGI (computer-generated
imagery), bring dramatic presence and storytelling power to the
action in the film.
Artists working on the scenic backdrop for "Quest For Camelot"
traveled to England with the film's production designer, STEVE
PILCHER, and visited ancient Celtic sites to incorporate images
from thousandyearold stone carvings into the visual
themes of the movie.
Along with the timeless look of a classic adventure, the filmmakers
wanted to continue breaking animation ground technically, as they
had with their hit "Space Jam."
Two advances in computerenhanced animation were particularly
noteworthy, says Wendy Aylsworth, Vice President of Technology
at Warner Bros. Feature Animation. "Computer software has
helped us make tremendous advances in the way certain things appear
on the screen, but every production and every team of artists
needs to adapt the capabilities of the software to the
style of the project they're working on."
The animators used Cambridge Animation's Animo software to assist
in automated registration, known as "ragging." Regging
is used when a single drawing must appear both in front of and
behind another drawing such as when a character's hand
wraps around a sword, or pulls back a drape that hangs partially
over the hand. It can be used to show two characters interacting,
or a character interacting with a background. Since traditional,
twodimensional animation normally works in separate layers,
it is difficult without automated regging to create the illusion
of interaction, but the use of computer software brought a new
reality to the animated images in "Quest For Camelot."
The other major visual effect used Silcon Graphics' Alias Wavefront
software to create the illusion of threedimensional images
in certain parts of the film, most notably in the creation of
a rock ogre, a circle of stones similar to Stonehenge, and in
King Arthur's Round Table room. KIT PERCY, head of CGI effects,
combined twoand threedimensional effects to join fantasy
and reality on the screen.
"The software that we used was developed for liveaction
effects and it gives an extremely realistic look to certain textures
and surfaces," she explains. "When you adapt that to
an animated picture, you have to manipulate the software to represent
a drawing style that's consistent with what's already been created
by hand. We wanted the effects to be an integral part of the story,
just as the mist, fog, and every other visual effect blend in;
our team did a great job of adapting their tools to make this
Warner Bros. Feature Animation was a brandnew company as
it began work on "Quest For Camelot." Artists from all
over the world had come to the studio's Glendale, California headquarters
to share ideas, animation techniques and artistic styles as they
brought the movie from concept to reality. And at the same time
they were working in Glendale, the Warner Bros. animation studios
in London, England, were also gearing up on "Quest For Camelot,"
taking responsibility for several aspects of about 20 minutes
of the finished film in their studios.
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