Klaus Look Development: Simulating 3D Effects in 2D

Sergio Pablos, CEO of SPA Studios, shared with befores&afters what was going on during the production of the animated film Klaus and talked about their approach to 2D and lighting.

Sergio Pablos has been working in animation for a long time. He's a talented animator, who worked on a bunch of animated films (Tarzan, Treasure Planet, Despicable Me, The Smurfs). He and his team are currently hard at work on a new project, Klaus. This movie captured our attention thanks to its soft shadows and very interesting lighting. It looked incredibly soft for a 3d film, but apparently it's not actually 3D. The whole film is done in 2d, actually.

Sergio knew that he wanted to create something new in 2D animation, so he addressed Les Films Du Poisson Rouge to help the production team to develop a new tool for light and shadow. With its help the animation guys were able to give 2D animation an almost volumetric look.

Les Films Du Poisson Rouge figured out how to derive a tracking system from drawn lines. Not just vector-drawn lines, but even bitmap lines. What came out of the partnership was this insanely intuitive tool that works in real-time and it allows artists to do an amazing amount of work in not much time. We called the tool ‘Klaus Light and Shadow.’

Another tool that was used in the production and also developed by Les Films Du Poisson Rouge is M.O.E. The tool helps to recreate the effect of any painterly styles, such as oil, watercolor, or wash. The artist can choose the size and type of strokes. 

Check the whole article to find out more about the production!

Klaus is available on Netflix. Go and check it out. It looks amazing.

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