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Author:  Sotiris [ Wed Feb 08, 2012 2:27 pm ]
Post subject:  Paperman

Q: What are you all working on at the moment?

John Kahrs: Right now I am directing a short film, that is all I can say at the moment! It hasn't been announced; it’s going to be amazing. Since it hasn't been announced at all, the fact that I said I am doing it is kind of enough.
Source: http://www.skwigly.co.uk/disney-interview/

Anonymous wrote:
John Kahrs' short film is in production.
Source: http://animationguildblog.blogspot.com/ ... jects.html

Christophe Beck is now at work on the Disney toon short 'Paperman', "a composer's dream", he says, as the animators are now illustrating to his music.
Source: http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118044876

Scott Watanabe is a graduate from San Jose State University with a degree in animation/illustration. For the last 4 years, he has worked at Disney Feature Animation as a Visual Development Artist on Tangled, Paperman, and Wreck-It Ralph.
Source: http://motivarti.org/2011/12/05/mentor- ... -watanabe/

Patrick Osborne wrote:
We’re finishing up a rather exciting project at Disney in the next few weeks. It’s been keeping me pretty busy. The short is called Paperman. Directed by John Kahrs, the short will be running the festival circuit next year. We’re very proud of this one and can’t wait to show the world.

Produced by Kristina Reed
Animation Supervision by myself
Art Direction by Jeff Turley
VFX Supervision by Kyle Odermat
Source: http://www.bighappyaccident.com/blog/2011/12/paperman/

Steve Hulett wrote:
Spent the morning and early afternoon at Diz Co.'s Hat building on Riverside Drive. Got to see some clips from an upcoming short that's going to be kind of ground-breaking. It's just now wrapping up, and nobody could tell me if it's going to be attached to an oncoming feature or hit the festival circuit as a stand-alone.
Source: http://animationguildblog.blogspot.com/ ... y-hat.html

Steve Hulett wrote:
They've had a project at Walt Disney Animation Studios that I haven't uttered a peep about. They should be proud. Because the look of it is terrific, and unlike anything else out there. I've had the good fortune to be shown clips of the piece referenced above for the last several months. Nobody can tell me when it will be released, but I imagine that the Mouse won't sit on it very long.
Source: http://animationguildblog.blogspot.com/ ... tskin.html

Jeff Turley wrote:
Just a small announcement, I have for the past year and some change been Art Directing a charming short called 'Paperman' directed by John Kahrs. We have been keeping our lips sealed for the most part of what it's about. John Kahrs, myself and all the wonderfully gifted artist that worked on our show really pushed hard to establish a style that supports the story and at the same time gives you a visual experience like nothing you've seen before! Please keep your eyes out for it..you don't want to miss it. That being said, I will be posting soon on this dusty blog seeing that my Production Design/Art Directing Gig is coming to an end.
Source: http://turleysketch.blogspot.com/2012/0 ... reath.html

Disney animator Eric Daniels has linked to the article on his Facebook page, commenting the following: "A glowing review of an upcoming Disney short -- which uses a technique I helped create". Daniels previously helped create a process, first used in Disney’s Tarzan, he dubbed 'Deep Canvas.' Deep Canvas allowed animators to paint the environment over a CG model so that the computer would be able to keep track and precisely re-create the animators' application as the camera moved in 3D space. The technique earned Daniels an Annie Technical Achievement Award in 1999 and an Oscar for Technical Achievement in 2002. Disney effects animator Bruce Wright who has most recently worked on Tangled and on the 3D conversion of The Lion King, also linked to the article.
Source: http://www.stitchkingdom.com/disney-pap ... ion-19601/

Frans Vischer wrote:
I'm mainly a 2D animator, did linework on Paperman. It's an exciting variation for 2D.
Source: http://twitter.com/fransvischer/status/ ... 0230064128

John Kahrs wrote:
Paperman is done. Huge thanks to everyone on the Paperman crew. Christophe Beck, you nailed it.
Source: http://twitter.com/john_kahrs/status/180105710514880512

Alice S. Lin wrote:
Loved seeing Paperman on the big screen with all my Feature Animation peeps. So proud to have been a part of it!
Source: http://twitter.com/comixguru/status/180089048138919937

Darrin Butters wrote:
Paperman wrapped. So lucky & proud to be a part of this amazing short. Gorgeous.
Source: http://twitter.com/darrinbutters/status ... 3817645057

Bruce Wright wrote:
Paperman was amazing and all finished. What if the future of hand drawn AND CG animation was the same thing?
Source: http://twitter.com/heybrucewright/statu ... 7266622464

Anonymous #1: The Paperman stuff is hardly "avant garde" or even very different than things done BETTER with hand drawn animation. As a matter of fact, as cool as bits of it are, it would work far better as an all hand drawn short. The CG brings nothing to it. And it's been done as well if not better elsewhere.

Anonymous #2: The CG brings subtlety, and dimension that 2D has never achieved. Also, it's animated completely on ones.

Anonymous #3: I'd love to see an example of 2D animation that is better than Paperman when it comes to subtlety of acting, stability of linework, and consistency of character design. Even the art direction blows away most recent 2D offerings.
Source: http://animationguildblog.blogspot.com/ ... t-iii.html

Ralph R. Werner wrote:
We got a sneak peak of the animation short PAPERMAN, which is quite excellent and uses new technology but with a classic animation look.

We also met the PAPERMAN team :

Jeff Turley: Art Director
Brian Whited: Senior Software Engineer
Patrick Osborne: Animator
Hyun Min Lee: Animator
Amol Sathe: Lighter

PAPERMAN is an animation short and many put this as their favorite part of the day. With this presentation, we got to see what started as a side project during some downtime to sometime that innovated the medium with some new software. It really utilized 3-D software for a 2-D look.
Source: http://bohemianartclub.blogspot.com/201 ... mouse.html

Clay Kaytis: Paperman, the latest project I animated on has a Facebook page!

Marc Hendry: I've heard it uses a pretty incredible cross over of hand-drawn and CG animation, right?

Clay Kaytis: Right! I didn't do any CG on it - a return to my hand-drawn roots.
Source: http://twitter.com/AnimPodcast/status/1 ... 7299673088

Author:  Mickeyfan1990 [ Wed Feb 08, 2012 2:52 pm ]
Post subject: 

Will be traditional 2D or CGI?

Author:  Sotiris [ Wed Feb 08, 2012 3:08 pm ]
Post subject: 

Mickeyfan1990 wrote:
Will be traditional 2D or CGI?

Supposedly, it will be some sort of a 2D/CG hybrid.

Author:  SWillie! [ Wed Feb 08, 2012 4:24 pm ]
Post subject: 

Exciting! I hate that it's going to be making the "festival rounds" though... usually that means it'll be forever until we get to see it in front of a movie, if at all. It'd be nice if they put it in front of Ralph.

Author:  Sotiris [ Fri Feb 10, 2012 7:03 pm ]
Post subject: 

I've updated the first post.

Author:  REINIER [ Sat Feb 11, 2012 4:01 am ]
Post subject: 

Sotiris you really brought your A-Game with this article! Very nice

Author:  Sotiris [ Sat Feb 11, 2012 6:19 am ]
Post subject: 

REINIER wrote:
Sotiris you really brought your A-Game with this article! Very nice.

Thank you! I'm glad you like it! :D

Author:  DisneyAnimation88 [ Wed Feb 15, 2012 6:47 pm ]
Post subject: 

This information has got me very intrigued as to how this new style of animation might look so thanks for providing it all Sotiris. The short sounds interesting and seems to have a lot of people very excited. It's also nice to see Disney at the forefront of the creation of a new style of animation and being innovative. With the hype this new style seems to be generating within the animation industry, I'm definitely looking forward to seeing it for myself.

Author:  Neal [ Fri Feb 17, 2012 3:29 pm ]
Post subject: 

I reserve judgment until I see it. Sometimes "innovative" just means "never been done in the U.S. before" - and may not be new at all.

I try not to get overhyped.

Author:  SWillie! [ Sat Mar 31, 2012 2:24 pm ]
Post subject: 

SO, I was lucky enough to see Paperman twice this week at Inspire Days at the studio.

Now, I don't want to give too much away yet, but know this: Paperman is a game-changer.

All of these nonsense arguments on here about "is 2d dead? the future of Disney? No! CG can be great! But I love hand-drawn! Blah blah! Blah!" will cease to exist after everyone sees this, because like someone said, "what if the future of hand-drawn and CG animation were the SAME THING?"

As someone else said, Paperman has beaten hand-drawn animation at it's own game. Even those artists who are extremely biased against CG and have only ever wanted to do hand-drawn animation will not be able to resist wanting to explore this. In a sense, Paperman will probably be the final nail in the coffin for hand-drawn animation in the traditional sense at Disney. BUT before everybody freaks out, it also means that it is definitely NOT the end of hand-drawn animation at Disney.

Someone at Inspire Days said "if your mind isn't blown by Paperman, you simply don't know or understand what you're looking at." And that is very true. The Anonymous #1 quote that Sotiris Posted from the TAG Blog is one of those people. It would most certainly not work better as a traditional hand drawn short.

As an animator myself, who has always dreamed of doing hand-drawn animation at Disney, but who has also had to accept the fact that I need to learn CG if I ever want a job... I was watching Paperman thinking, "This is what I want to do with my life."

So, a little about the short itself... Without giving too much away, the short is about a 1940s (50s?) romance in New York City. It's mostly in black and white, and feels like a B&W photograph from that time period. The character designs are fantastic (Glen Keane worked on them along with others), and the art direction reminded several people of 101 Dalmatians. Having already seen sketches and screenshots before watching the short, I said "wow, this looks really great - looks straight up hand-drawn to me." And then when they screened it, and things started moving... my jaw hit the floor and I went "OH MY GOD WHAT AM I WATCHING."

By the end of both screenings I was tearing up, half because of the artistry and innovation that is so apparent, and half because the story, music, and visuals all come together and simply make a great short, regardless of how it was made.

I assume they will be developing the technique further and working towards using it for a feature. I certainly hope they do. There's rumors that Ron and John's new film will possibly be using this technique, and if so I wouldn't be surprised at all. As directors who love hand-drawn animation, it is only natural for them to want to do this.

Hopefully it will be shown in front of Wreck-It-Ralph (they couldn't really give us a straight answer at this point), so everyone can see it. It would be a disaster if this went to "shorts hell" that so many of Disney's shorts seem destined for. I doubt it will, just because everyone at the studio is so excited about it and they know how big this is.

I kind of wish they would put it out on blu-ray by itself. I would pay a lot of money to own this, because I know it is and will be a very important piece of Disney and animation history. I also hope they do some kind of book to go along with it.

All in all, Paperman is really something special and you should all be looking forward to seeing it. It makes me more excited for Disney's future than I have been in a long time.

Author:  PatrickvD [ Sat Mar 31, 2012 3:03 pm ]
Post subject: 

Thanks for sharing!! Now you have me excited!

Author:  Sotiris [ Sat Mar 31, 2012 4:18 pm ]
Post subject: 

SWillie! wrote:
Without giving too much away, the short is about a 1940s (50s?) romance in New York City. It's mostly in black and white, and feels like a B&W photograph from that time period. The character designs are fantastic (Glen Keane worked on them along with others), and the art direction reminded several people of 101 Dalmatians. Having already seen sketches and screenshots before watching the short, I said "wow, this looks really great - looks straight up hand-drawn to me." And then when they screened it, and things started moving... my jaw hit the floor and I went "OH MY GOD WHAT AM I WATCHING."

Thanks for providing us with all this info. I really appreciate it. Finally, we know what the short is about.

Could you please answer a few questions? I understand that the non-disclosure agreement does not apply to "Paperman" so you're free to talk about it a little more.

I assume the main characters are humans and not animals, right? Regarding the character designs, are they more naturalistic-looking ala "classic" Disney or more caricatured?

Also, in what aspect did 101 Dalmatians' art direction feel reminiscent?

Regarding the CG/2D hybrid, could you elaborate a little more? Can you give some examples? Is it similar to something else out there even in the slightest? Like the Deep Canvas technique or like the animation of the folk art characters in "My Peoples"? Is a 2D texture technique applied on the CG? Are some elements in CG and some in 2D or does the whole thing looks homogeneous? Could you explain a little bit?

Author:  TsWade2 [ Sat Mar 31, 2012 5:07 pm ]
Post subject: 

GASP!! So Disney is still doing hand drawn! WHEEEEEEEEEEE! :pink: :pink: :pink: :pink: :pink: :pink: :pink: :pink: :pink: :pink: :pink: :pink: :pink: :pink: :pink: :pink: :pink: :pink: :pink: :pink: :pink: :pink: :pink: :pink: :pink: :pink: :pink: :pink: :pink: :pink: :pink: :pink: :pink: :pink: :pink: :pink: :pink: :pink: :pink: :pink: :pink: :pink:

Author:  DisneyAnimation88 [ Sat Mar 31, 2012 5:14 pm ]
Post subject: 

Thanks a lot for the information SWillie!. With all the hype surrounding this short it definitely does sound like a game-changer and it's good to see Disney pioneering an evolution in the medium of animation. I'm very excited to see this short and this new development in animation for myself; if it means that hand-drawn animation does have a future in some way then that can only a positive thing.

Author:  SWillie! [ Sun Apr 01, 2012 2:34 am ]
Post subject: 

Sotiris wrote:
Thanks for providing us with all this info. I really appreciate it. Finally, we know what the short is about.

No problem! I'm excited to be able to pass on everyone's excitement. They did tell us to go out and tell the world about Paperman, so yes, we are free to discuss it. But I also don't want to spoil it for anyone.

The main characters are indeed humans. I would say the designs are a little more caricatured than not. You can definitely feel Glen's influence in the female character. I would say overall the two main characters are not quite so exaggerated as Rapunzel, and not quite so realistic as Flynn. They seem to land somewhere in-between. The girl is gorgeous and I want to marry her :P The minor secondary characters are more heavily caricatured.

I think I was reminded of Dalmatians in part because of the male character's design - he looks somewhat like Roger. But the art direction in general is reminiscent as well - very heavy on lighting and contrast. Bold shapes and fairly angular stuff going on. Also, there's the sense that it's something new for Disney, as was Dalmatians.

As for the technique, it's quite hard to explain without showing some examples. Before they did their "behind the scenes" panel, I literally didn't know how they had done it. But I'll try to explain.

I hate to dumb the concept down this far, because it really is more impressive than this will make it sound - but the most simple explanation of the concept is that it is CG animation, with hand-drawn animation done over top of it. BUT, that has been tried before, pretty unsuccessfully. There have been many different attempts of "toon-shading" (using CG software to give the animation a 2D look or texture), and that is not what this is.

They told us the story of when they pitched the project to Lasseter. They said that, going into the pitch, they had their proof of concept as to what it was going to look like, and were very excited to show him. Lasseter was under the impression that they were simply making a CG short going in. When they told him that it would be a sort of hybrid, he was hesitant, saying "people have tried this at Siggraph before, and nothing has interested me". They said "it hadn't occurred to us to be nervous up until then - but when he said that, we all kind of felt this new pressure." So they showed him the proof of concept, and John was immediately on board.

I certainly haven't seen anything that looks like this before. Possibly the closest thing might be what they were going for with My Peoples - this may be an evolution of that idea. Like I said, a screenshot of the film would look like it was hand-drawn. It has a lot to do with how they lit the scenes. They used flat lighting - for example, half of the guy's face would be a very light grey, while the other half is in shadow, a dark grey, without a smooth transition in-between the two as is normal in most CG. The drawings were left fairly sketchy - it still has that feeling of a "drawing" intact. Then when it starts moving, it still feels like hand-drawn animation, and yet there is a solidity and dimensionality that can't be achieved with hand-drawn.

They were able to do this because of a new software they developed during production. It's extremely hard to explain. Say there are ten frames of CG animation. The traditional artist then goes over frames 1 and 10, making the "key" drawings over top of the CG, adding things like outlines, strands of hair, pupils, folds in the cloth, etc... Then, because you are drawing on top of a CG model, the computer in-betweens those lines for every frame, understanding and following where the model is on a given frame. The artist then has to tweak those frames to fix any issues with the in-betweens.

The whole short uses this technique, so there is no back-and-forth or anything like that between CG and traditional.

I should also note that they told us that the short is in 3D, but we were only shown the 2D version. Apparently the 3D is just as mind-boggling as the rest of the short.

Author:  Sotiris [ Sun Apr 01, 2012 4:23 am ]
Post subject: 

Wow, thanks for all these details SWillie! It truly seems that WDAS is once again pioneering in animation. Since the short was shot in 3D, they must be planning a theatrical release.

One last question, if you don't mind. You said that the guy looks like Roger, what does the girl look like?

Author:  SWillie! [ Sun Apr 01, 2012 11:42 pm ]
Post subject: 

Fairly typical Glen Keane-esque girl... except shorter, shoulder length dark hair. There's nothing really that unique about her or anything... but she's just very pretty... think Glen Keane/Fred Moore/Chris Sanders girls all smushed into one super attractive woman lol

Author:  Sotiris [ Mon Apr 02, 2012 4:22 am ]
Post subject: 

SWillie! wrote:
Think Glen Keane/Fred Moore/Chris Sanders girls all smushed into one super attractive woman.

You lost me with Chris Sanders. :lol: I get the Keane/Moore association. I assume it means petite, feminine with expressive eyes, right? But where does Sanders' style fit in? His women are very different from Keane and Moore's.

Author:  SWillie! [ Mon Apr 02, 2012 4:30 am ]
Post subject: 

Yeah you're right haha... I don't know, I guess when I think "attractive female design", Sanders just automatically comes to mind for me. But yes, you're correct - Keane/Moore petite with VERY expressive eyes.

Author:  Sotiris [ Mon Apr 02, 2012 4:51 am ]
Post subject: 

SWillie! wrote:
But yes, you're correct - Keane/Moore petite with VERY expressive eyes.

I guess that mean big eyes? So, we have another Ariel or Rapunzel? :lol:

Do you recall her (and the guy's) name? Are they mentioned in the short?

Is the short also silent in addition to being black & white?

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