It felt a little bit like pulling back the curtain and seeing The Wizard when we held our 3rd annual LAPPG Meeting at the DV Expo this year. Sony Imageworks’ Digital Effects Supervisor Daniel Kramer took us through an amazing presentation of his work on this summer’s hit feature, “The Smurfs.”
We learned all about the 2D to 3D character design challenges of creating these little blue guys including figuring out how fast a Smurf walks in relation to their human counterparts and the fact they can’t really put their hands up over their heads! We also learned about how they created the skin with a “blood” layer right down to the peach fuzz on their faces and how important it was to keep that specific Pantone shade of blue.
Daniel took us through the animation process, the on-set data acquisition and the new physically based lighting pipeline developed for the project. One of the highlights was at the end of the presentation we got a look at a layer-by layer look at how the Smurfs’ Village was created – right before our very eyes!