Mike Seymour, Mark Christiansen and Jason Diamond dissect ILM's first fully in-house, fully animated feature Rango.

Mike Seymour spoke to ILM animation director Hal Hickel about bringing Rango to life in a recent fxpodcast. Mike also posted a quicktake video on fxguide showing emotion capture in action.

Show Notes:

Director:  Gore Verbinski

Art Director: John Bell

Director of Animation: Hal T. Hickel

VFX Supervisors and Visual Effects Company: Tim Alexander -- ILM

There Will Be Blood

Chinatown

Short story about the genesis of the initial story treatment of Rango

The Last Airbender

A look at ILM's render farm -- video

"Rango" and the rise of kidult-oriented animation

Timothy Olyphant

Hunter S. Thompson

Roger Deakins

WALL-E Shopping Cart Scene -- video

Keyser Söze

ASC Magazine's explanation of "What is a Director of Photography"


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  • Great chat guys. I would love to see ILM sit down and do EVERYTHING from scratch. They worked with a great director on this one, but there is such a huge amount of talent.

    I loved this movie. I loved to spaghetti western vibe, but really looking back, would love to see something like this in a different context where it is not a gang of talking animals solving problems, but a story focusing on a great character like Rango.

    I am still dreaming of an animated detective story and would love to see ILM doing something like this after watching Rango.

  • In regards to the animation reference thing. I absolutely would prefer the Rango style shooting with the actors as a group, this is something I have done for reference for a long time on much smaller scale. You don’t have to be capturing all the audio on that “set”. I find myself cutting up video reference just like Pixar cuts up and re-edits audio and sometimes completely doing things from scratch. Even if you are not directly using the reference as what is necessary for a shot, by shooting it and reviewing it you learn more and when great actors are involved the games changes entirely.

    Having animators work directly with actors is absolutely the right path.