Deep Canvas Technology | How Disney Merge 3D and 2D Animation

Deep Canvas Technology | How Disney Merge 3D and 2D Animation


Hey everyone, today I’m going to be
talking about deep canvas which is something you’ve probably never heard of
but without it you wouldn’t have the Tarzan, the Treasure Planet and some of the
future films that you’ve come to know they’d be totally different
and this is why Deep canvas is a computer tool
that was developed by Tarzan art director
Dan St. Pierre because he was fed up of the limitations
that his art form gave him and what Deep Canvas did is that allowed artists to
make 3D objects that could then be painted by artists and that characters
could interact with in the films. It basically helps to give the scene more
of a depth and it did this after some of the staff went on a trip to Africa in
1996 and they saw how tactile the environment was they really wanted the
characters to interact with the environment and be able to touch it and
walk on it and all that sort of stuff so how’s this all work well at first
mostly gray cylindrical bobbing looking shapes are made with these shapes making
up the trees and some of the other objects in films like Tarzan and once
all that is made a camera path is determined by the directors because at
this point the camera can move freely around the environment and at this point
once the camera path is determined the character animators get involved and
start animating the character frame by frame this is a very hard job because
they also have to take into account perspective and make sure that it
actually looks like the character is touching the environment and is walking
on it or just interacting with it in general so after the character is ready
and Tarzan is skating on them trees it’s time to make the trees look less boring
so now the background painters take over and they start drawing over these shapes
that were made in 3D to make them look like they’re actual painted objects they
do this digitally on a drawing tablet that simulates brush strokes so the end
result is gonna look like it’s was actually made by a (paint)brush but obviously
drawing in 3D is a lot different to drawing in 2D so it did have a bit of a learning
curve but according to Doug Ball who is the head of backgrounds for Tarzan the
software can be learnt within a few weeks and can be mastered within that
time and an advantage using a computer is that brush strokes can
actually be remembered and can be copied and pasted to different parts of the
object or to different objects entirely to save on time and at this stage they
also add in some additional elements such as moths and… not moths… moss and
leaves and other things like that and they keep doing tests which are
basically when they rendor out the video or make it so that you can just watch it
as a video and they just add to it over time and see their progress as they go
along so they keep making changes and making
improvements and filling in gaps here and there until they’re happy with the
result and they add in the background layer that goes at the back and
obviously the background layer can be either hand-drawn or done digitally it
doesn’t really matter because it is the same sort of background that you’d get
in previous films and for Tarzan there were some other things that weren’t done
digitally too, for example the lighting and the shadows were all done by hand and
the overlaying of plants over the character’s feet were also done by hand too
but the disadvantages of Deep Canvas at the time was that the scenes couldn’t be
reused and they couldn’t really be modified that much, the camera angle
couldn’t be changed of anything like that they also couldn’t be relit so if
the same scene happened a different time of the day they couldn’t use the same
scene again they’d just have to redo again although by the time Treasure
Planet came along they’d developed Viirtual sets that built on top of deep canvas
but it took away some of its disadvantages so with virtual sets a 360
degree full environment was created that could then be reused again and again and
could be relit and modified as the directors wanted and with this all the
scene was actually created before the camera movement was done so there can be
a whole lot of different scenes that use different parts of the virtual set with
its own camera because you can have different camera angles or have
different scenes where the camera’s in different places and they definitely did
take advantage of that because in Tarzan they only used Deep Canvas for around
10 minutes of the 88 minute one time but in Treasure Planet they used it for
75% of the scenes they didn’t use Virtual Sets for all of that but they
did use Deep Canvas in some way for 75% of the film and yep
that’s what Deep Canvases and what Virtual Sets are that builds on top of
Deep Canvas is so if you liked this video be sure to give a like be sure to
subscribe to see more animation discussion videos like this one and yeah
I hope you all have a great day I’ll see you all in the next video bye

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11 Replies to “Deep Canvas Technology | How Disney Merge 3D and 2D Animation”

  1. I miss the days when Disney and Dreamworks combined Hand Drawn with CGI. Nowadays animation is entirely CGI it just loses the magic LOL. Awesome video👍!

  2. I have a question . What do you think about Lightbox? Are they useful for animation now ? Is a better option to draw on a computer
    Ps: Thanks for your movie Sorry for my English

  3. although i am both traditional and do a little digital at times with my artstyle i love both, great video and thanks for the information, which are your favorite disney and pixar movies.

  4. i think phil tibett worked on something like this for jurassic park, hes a figure animator mainly though.

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