Computer Graphics World

March / April 2015

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m a r c h . a p r i l 2 0 1 5 c g w 2 9 to hide and what to show. What was interesting, however, was having a goose head on a human. So, we played with that idea. As the coachman is driving and the coach is about to turn into a pumpkin, his head turns into a goose head with a big hat that covers his eyes." Aer a first pass in animation, the fur and technical animation team managed the different materials mixing into one another. During the transforma- tion from goose to human, the feathers turn into a beard with the help of MPC's Furtility. P U M P K I N S P I C E Just before midnight, Cinderella makes a mad dash for home in her golden carriage, knowing the spell will break in minutes. During the 150-shot sequence, all the animals start turning into their original forms. Mouse whiskers and ears appear on the horses. The gold leaf on the carriage turns green, and the green leaves flutter and fly away. "We played with the idea of the carriage going back to nature," Ledda says. "We have shots of Cinderella panicking as vines grow inside. We tried different versions, from comical to dangerous, with the pumpkin getting smaller and smaller. But in the film, the whole carriage loses shape until there's no car- riage any more. Only a massive pumpkin with Cinderella inside." As they did for the animals, to transform the carriage into a pumpkin, the team worked with two main models and rigs. One was the golden carriage. The other was a big pumpkin covered with vines and leaves, and with vines in loops for the wheels. "We had different stages be- tween," Ledda says, "hybrid ver- sions with pieces of a carriage and pieces of a pumpkin. The trick with this transformation and all the transformations was extensive postvis to show Ken [Branagh] the different stages. We had a lot of back and forth, and any time the edit changed, we had to go back and revisit the transformation." As Cinderella bumps along inside the giant pumpkin, the pumpkin hits a log and breaks apart. For this, the artists used Kali, MPC's proprietary rig- id-body system. Inside, we see pumpkin seeds and a trans- formed Cinderella. "She's catapulted out, and there's a nice little moment," Ledda says. "She leans on the ground. The mice and the lizard and goose jump out. The mice are really happy. They remember they were horses and still act like horses, but it's subtle. And then they crawl into her glass slipper and she carries them home. It was complex. There is refraction and caustics in the glass shoes, and it's raining. It's one of my favorite shots." Artists at MPC London creat- ed the assets, the rigs, and the fur. Once built, the characters and carriage moved to Montreal for animation, rendering, and compositing. "We also had a huge number of invisible effects to create the Cinderella world," Ledda says. "The production had set loca- tions – her house, the interior of the palace, and so forth. But the exterior work is either fully CG or a combination of plates and CG. Our production supervisor, Charley Henley, shot helicopter plates so we had natural camera moves. But, we had to popu- late big sections with a slightly old-English world. And, we had big, wide shots that hadn't been filmed. Although the close-ups in the palace are practical, when Cinderella runs away from the prince at the ball, the shots were all-digital except for the actors." "It was our biggest show in Montreal," Ledda adds. "And it was a big challenge. Cinderella's world is pretty and pristine. We couldn't hide behind big camera shakes and smoke." There are no battles in Cinderella. No warriors. No explosions. No spaceships. Only magic, courage, and a little kindness. Radical. ■ Barbara Robertson ( is an award-winning writer and a contributing editor for CGW. VIDEO: GO TO EXTRAS IN THE MARCH.APRIL 2015 ISSUE BOX. C G W. C O M THE EXTERIOR LOCATIONS IN CINDERELLA ARE FULLY CG OR A COMBINATION OF PLATES AND CG. TOP, THE PLATE. BOTTOM, CG STRUCTURES COMPOSITED INTO THE PLATE.

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