Computer Graphics World

Edition 4 2018

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F E A T U R E e d i t i o n 4 , 2 0 1 8 | c g w 2 9 Oh My Princesses In Ralph Breaks the Internet, Ralph and Vanellope decide to make a viral video to pay for an eBay bid gone awry. And the subject of this video? The Disney princesses in the Oh My Disney realm of the Internet. The sequence uses a tongue-in-cheek approach to lovingly poking light fun at Disney and its beloved princess- es. The idea was made on the fly during production and presented at a story meeting, not knowing how it would be received. Disney and the directors loved it. The first order of business was to research the characters – 14 of the officially coronated Disney Animation princesses, including Merida "from the other studio." This was done by accessing the Disney Animation Research Library, which houses all the original drawings from the films, to study expressions and movements. They also consulted many of the original animation supervisors. The biggest challenge was converting the characters from their original 2D form to CGI; the textures of their original outfits as well as new, contemporary clothing also had to be made in CG. Even the more recent 3D characters needed re-stylized to fit into the Ralph 2 visual universe. "Some are more cartoony, some are more realistic. And their eye sizes can be drastically different," says Kira Lehto- maki, head of animation. Hair oen became challenging as well – how would they make Ariel's hair, which was always voluminous and flowing underwater? Or translate Aurora's (Sleeping Beauty's) stylized, art-deco curls and cinnamon bun-like bangs? "The artists [back then] were making choices based on what angle they were drawing them from, so while they could move lines in a drawing to accommodate that, in CG, we actually have real strands of hair growing from their head, so the hairdo has to make sense," says Lehtomaki. Together, the animators and simulation team figured out how to move each strand of hair to achieve a particular curl. Rebuilding the princesses in the Ralph style required modelers, riggers, the hair simulation team, texturers, and lighters all working together with animation in what was informally dubbed the Princess Palooza Lab. The process was collaborative and iterative, not linear – and not just for the hair, but for the movement as well. Lending insight were some of the original animators and the voice actress who were live-action models for their particular princess; they also voiced the princesses in this film. Each princesses' per- formance had to be specific to that character in substance and movement. "There are little homages to really iconic scenes from the original films that are peppered throughout the background in the sequences, so even if a princess is not the center of focus in a scene, there's still intricate character movement happening in the background," says Lehtomaki. Is this sequence iconic enough to go viral? Quite possibly. ANIMATORS RESTYLED THE PRINCESSES TO FIT INTO THE RALPH WORLD.

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