With the release of Rango, Industrial Light & Magic embarks on its first full-length animated feature. We talk to animation director Hal Hickel about bringing the film to life.
Director Gore Verbinski came to ILM during the two Pirates of the Caribbean sequels with the idea for Rango and production began gearing up at the studio in the summer of 2008. Verbinski introduced a unique process of filming scenes of whole recording sessions with the actors, which were cut together and could be used as reference by ILM. Visual effects supervisors John Knoll and Tim Alexander, as well as Hickel, drew on ILM’s existing expertise in the effects world, but also developed the characters’ distinctive looks via their almost ugly features and ping-pong ball eyes, using a special tool for maintaining proper eye-lines.
Click on the images below for a look at ILM’s production process from storyboard, rough camera layout, animation through to the final shot, for a scene in which Rango meets Bad Bill.