Saturday, July 18, 2009

AWM Checks out Astro

Another in the lucky batch of folks to get a preview of Imagi's upcoming Astro Boy movie, Animation World Magazine brings us their impressions of what was shown, along with some more technical insight that both artists and Tezuka fans may find interesting.

Character Designer Luis Grane had this to say about transitioning characters from the manga into the realm of 3D animation.

"One of other characters, Dr. Tenma, has the Jacometti influence: he looks like a stick from the front but in profile takes on more dimensionality. A big problem was with Dr. Elefun [Bill Nighy]. He has a balloon nose that you can cheat in 2D by moving it around, but, in 3D, it stays in the same place and you can't see the eyes. So we had to work on it."
And from Animation Director Jakob Jensen:
"The main challenge was to maintain the simplicity so inherent in the original. We very quickly figured that this trash can character [a robotic dog] was going to be golden for us because he's limited in his movement and we had to figure out the [balance between the mechanical and the organic and keeping him cute]. When we decided to approach Freddy Highmore for the voice, I decided to put together a little test from August Rush to see how it would feel with his voice coming out of our character."
Read "Astro Boy Gets Re-imagined by Imagi" on AWM, but again, watch out for spoilers! Something of a major plot detail is dropped!