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Coraline: Dinner (VFX)

Sequence Supervisor / Senior Visual Effects Compositor:

This was the first sequence I got to really get into the subtleties of the stereo effect. BVH (Brian Van t’Hul) wanted me to develop a template for doing the steam and flames which could then be passed along to other people. In this way I was able to get my feet wet as a sequence supervisor since I had designed the template and assisted the junior compositors in working out the kinks in what turned out to be a lot of candle and stem shots. The Z-axis placement of the candle flames is very delicate with fractional pixel values being enough to make the difference between ‘in front of’ or ‘behind’ the candle… This practice on relatively simple shots proved very valuable when it came to placing the flying birds in the garden sequence.

I started with the cake and was eventually able to put the candle flames on properly but they were constrained to the picture plane, rather than pointing up (out!) in Z along the axis’ indicated by the candles. Figuring out how to get a mono 2D element to bend spatially in 3D was very rewarding,

I felt really clever for about a hot second especially when Henry Selick said, “Stupendous” in VFX dailies.

Complete reel on Vimeo