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Charlotte’s Web animated by 2d3

February 15th, 2007 by Paul Martin

2d3, the visual effects software developer, revealed that its technology enabled Rising Sun Pictures (RSP) to bring to life the character of Charlotte the spider in the current box office release, ‘Charlotte’s Web’.

The boujou match moving software from 2d3 was used by a team of CG artists and technicians at Rising Sun’s studios in Australia to produce the movie. The film starring Julia Roberts, Robert Redford and Dakota Fanning, is an adaptation of EB White’s classic novel.

The filmmakers had to combine live action, actors who would provide voice talent, live animals and animated characters such as Charlotte herself. RSP was engaged to create a fully digital photo-real Charlotte, one that could seamlessly interact with other characters, her environment and her very intricate webs.

Time and effort was devoted to her development to ensure she had the screen presence that was required for such a well-known and much loved character. Charlotte’s on-screen presence had to be realistic and convincing from a nature documentary perspective, as well as allow the audience to empathise with her joy and sorrow.

In order for the animated character to be seen to interact with live action actors and animals, the computer generated (CG) image had to be inserted into live action film plates. The CG artists have to perform the complex task of working out the exact geographical position from which each camera is placed, in order to insert the three dimensional character seamlessly into the frame. This is where boujou match moving software is essential to the post-production team.

Ben Warner, Visual Effects artist at Rising Sun Pictures, explained: “Part of the director’s vision for Charlotte was for her to be active and moving, meaning many of the plates we needed to add Charlotte to, were shot with moving cameras, either on jibs or tripods. The combination of a large number of moving camera shots, combined with tight timeframes meant we needed a solid tracking solution that we could use for both the easy tracking shots and the more difficult ones.”

Almost every sequence needed some amount of boujou tracking, the most heavily worked being the first scene in which the audience is introduced to Charlotte ? the camera moves are dynamic, random and fast-paced.

[Read the rest at CreativeMatch.co.uk]