DR. SEUSS' THE LORAX
Shaping the In-Theater Experience
Lighting is as important to a CG-animated film as
it is to a traditional live-action one. The team crafted
each shot to guide the viewers' eyes to the character
that would eventually appear on screenâ€¦just as if they
were lighting actors on set. For example, the animators
learned never to put the Lorax in front of an orange
Truffula Tree, as that would wash him out completely
and render him almost invisible.
The team strived to show
motion and ensure a completely
for the audience. Reflects CG
supervisor Chauffard: "We did
a lot of research because we
had to discover the 'softness'
of this tuft or that tuft. I did
some small movement to
make the Truffula Trees feel
fresh and a little bit windy.
All the trees are constantly
moving in the filmâ€¦you
feel it. The colors, the feeling and the movement were
very important. Some of the trees are also designed to
move dynamically when they are cut by the Once-ler's
machines and they fall."
Healy explains that giving the audience this
experience was a laser-coordinated effort: "The fur,
the Truffula Trees, the grass and the environment are
very computing-intensive because a lot of data was
required. When they move, it was even more data.
When they interact, it was compounded. To have the
furred characters interacting with one another and the
environment takes a lot of talent. It takes a lot of special
code and many great technicians to pull it off. We had a
tight loop between what we thought about on the page
and what we designed, and we brought in the technical
people at just the right time."
From the insane scooter ride throughout Thneedville
to the Once-ler's runaway ride down the river rapids with
Pipsqueak, each element of the story was intended to
draw the audience into the film and give them a truly
Stereographer JOHN R.A. BENSON's job was to
ensure that the 3D elements were truly taken advantage
of in an exciting way. He says, "We wanted to make
the characters feel round-make them feel like they're
right in front of you but not so close that it felt weird.
In a theater, you want to look at the space in front of the
screen and the space that's inside the screen and feel
like it's all one. We designed the film so you could be
standing next to the Lorax and participating as if he's in
your living room and feel that you're just as much a part
of the environment as the characters are.
Healy explains that with so many elements
necessary for the audience to absorb in the theater,
the construction was very deliberate. She says: "When
you've got a lot of things going on in the scene, all
those multiple colors in the background or a complex
city with traffic and crowds, you have to be able to
design them so the lighting, the colors and the values
are separating the character from the background.
That's something we did very judiciously, shot by shot,
to make sure that we had just the right room light to
make it pop on screen."
3D means manipulating another dimension.
Concludes the producer: "When you are doing that in
stereo that means you've got another dimension that you
have to manage. You have to manage not only where
your eye looks on the screen, but you have to manage
where your eye looks in depth. We luckily have this
incredible team that understands that importance and
works well together to make sure that it's seamless for
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