Thank you to Disney for inviting me to cover behind the scenes for Animating Incredibles 2. All opinions are my own. #Incredibles2Event
I am always amazed at what goes into animated movies. When I sit down in the theater and watch a movie, I’m just purely looking at how it entertained me. It’s not until I am able to see behind the scenes that I truly understand everything that it took to put the movie together. How much thought and research was put into it. From the characters and environment to the colors and how they might affect my mood. It’s absolutely incredible. And the pun fits. 😉
We were able to sit down with some of the design team to talk about creating the world of Incredibles 2.
Animating Incredibles 2
Ralph Eggleston, Production Designer, and Bryn Imagire, Costuming and Shading Art Director, took us through some of the inspiration in creating the new Parr home.
Our jobs are to create the world of the film. The world is a character in the film. Design our characters/actors, their environments, the props and dressing, the costumes of the characters, the textures in the film and the lighting.
To give you an inside look, we were provided some concept art that we could share.
The Parr’s new home was based off of a mid-century design. They gathered reference from a lot of different sources including Frank Lloyd Wright and James Mason’s house in North by Northwest. They photographed 30 different properties to research this design.
As you can see by the concept art below, they wanted to bring the outdoors indoors. Wait until you see it in the actual movie. It’s a pretty impressive house.
What is quite mind blowing is that everything in the film is designed and built from scratch. So how do they get it all done and look so amazing?
Philip Metschan, the Visual Designer, spoke a bit about pre-visualization or “previs.”
Philip told us that collaboration is key and that they like to work with story, art, and camera to build quick models that they can react to. As far as what Philip’s role is in Incredibles 2, he brings it all together – the storyboards, maps of the scenes, design, etc.
Everything that goes into making these films is incredible. It really seems like making an animated movie is just as much work as live action.
Nathan Fariss is the Sets Supervisor. His role is to turn the concept and previs into what we see in the theater.
Nathan, led a team of 55 people in the sets department. They make all of the “stuff” from props and architecture – inside and out, vegetation, skies, and set extensions. Everything has to be made.
Computers are really good at making straight line. Make the world as real as we want it to feel or unreal depending what we’re making. Every seating, towers, buildings, carafes, everything.
The attention to detail is amazing. All of the props that they make, get put together in a set. Food, dishes, silverwear, sink of dirty dishes, etc are all created. Everything to make things look lived-in. This all preps the structure of the world so that lighting and animation can then use them in the downline. They then come back later in the film and camera dress. They add grass, stones, proper shading, dead leaves, etc.
There is also another small group that “expands” the world. They make the “great big city.”
My goal was to not be afraid of cities. We made a 3D city that we can put in there and place wherever we want it. This same group makes clouds (like in The Good Dinosaur).
The set techs come in then and “fix” things and do trimming.
There are 2200 shots in the Incredibles 2 movie. So amazing and mind blowing at the same time. It’s hard to really wrap my brain around what all goes into these movies.
We also got a look at the “Anatomy of an Action Scene.” Ted Mathot is the Story Supervisor.
There is a really cool action scene in the movie where Elastigirl has to stop a runaway train. Here we get to see Elastigirl in action including her new Elasticycle.
Ted explains that all films start in a story reel which is a drawn version of the film. With the story reel, they attempt to communicate what they want to happen in the film. It also serves as a reference point for production.
There’s a lot that is going on in this one scene. They bring in the police cars that Helen is “tangled” with, they are explaining why Supers are legal again ie: showing what a super can do vs what the public or police can do. They’re also showing that there is a balance between the mundane world and the super world.
We never want to be super for too long without being mundane. We never want to be mundane too long without something super. Introduce a phone call from home while Helen is in a high speed chase. Balance is what makes an INCREDIBLES movie.
Mahyar works in the layout, camera and staging department. He said that they faced similar challenges that you would in planning a live action sequence. They even worked with a stunt coordinator to create some of these action sequences.
Some of the challenges they faced were things like the speed of the Elasticycle. They needed to figure out how Helen would keep up with the train going 150 miles per hour.
Kureha is an animator who was partly brought in to work on Incredibles 2 because of her love for motorcycles. She shared a bit of the design process of the Elasticycle.
Brad wanted it to be cool, form follow function, should become an extension of Helen, should showcase her strength. What does that look like?
The Elasticycle transforms but it doesn’t feel like a transformer. The bike fits Helen and Helen fits the bike.
Because the Elasticycle doesn’t exist in reality, we wanted to make sure there were enough realistic (enough) components to the Elasticycle. Each collaborator added to the direction and creation of the Elasticycle. Balancing the super and the mundane. Reminding the audience that Helen is super but not infallible, she’s vulnerable and subject to peril. This is important because they want you to care about the characters.
Effects Artist Amit Baadkar had a team of 6 effects artists that worked to mimics real world fire, water, smoke explosions, etc. Everything that this team did, created the perfect world where we can be entertained and not even think about this being an animated movie.
The story of the Parr family works around the idea that Super Heroes are not perfect. There’s a need to keep the peril and injury to show this.
Everything we saw from those that worked on Incredibles 2 was absolutely amazing. We also were given a few storyboards that we could share. Take a look:
Everything comes together to make an incredible movie!
Incredibles 2 is in theaters June 15!
In INCREDIBLES 2, Helen (voice of Holly Hunter) is called on to lead a campaign to bring Supers back, while Bob (voice of Craig T. Nelson) navigates the day-to-day heroics of “normal” life at home with Violet (voice of Sarah Vowell), Dash (voice of Huck Milner) and baby Jack-Jack—whose super powers are about to be discovered. Their mission is derailed, however, when a new villain emerges with a brilliant and dangerous plot that threatens everything. But the Parrs don’t shy away from a challenge, especially with Frozone (voice of Samuel L. Jackson) by their side. That’s what makes this family so Incredible.
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Visit the official INCREDIBLES 2 website here: http://disney.com/incredibles2
Wheres my Super Suit?
Glen Keane Exhibition at the Walt Disney Family Museum
Pixar Fest at Disneyland Resorts
Tour of Pixar Studios
Tour of the Pixar Studios Archives
Costume and Design for Incredibles 2