Saturday, July 1, 2017

Cruella's Car




In order to save costs the 101 Dalmatians production team thought up an inventive way to animate Cruella De Vil's automobile. Instead of drawing the vehicle frame by frame the conventional way, a cardboard model was filmed, as effects animators moved it around in front of the camera. Note the black lines that define all edges.
Frames from this "live action" footage were xeroxed on to cels before being painted in the ink & paint apartment. (The same process was used for the Baduns' car, and later on for Edgar's motorcycle in The Aristocats.)





Art director and production designer Ken Anderson, story artist Bill Peet, and co directors Woolie Reitherman and Ham Luske play with a couple of toy car models.



Here the scene is being filmed in which Cruella tries to run the Baduns off the road.
Effects animator Dick Lukas is manipulating the models.



Woolie Reitherman moves Cruella's car up a snowy embankment set up. Even the movement of the simulated snow made it in to the final film.
Some people might consider this whole procedure a cheat. I think it is pretty ingenious, considering that these guys were under the gun as far as having to bring down the film's budget.




15 comments:

  1. That is really clever. I never would have guessed that animation was from a 3D model. We watched this movie yesterday for my mom's birthday as it is her favorite Disney movie.
    I love the dark lines in the film.

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  2. Well, I wouldn't call it cheating. They were just smart about a way to make the car work. Brilliant, actually. The snow thing... that's a little closer to cheating. And, to be honest, it looks strange. I remember watching the movie as a kid, and noticing that shot of the snow and thinking something was off...

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  3. Thank you Andreas : this solves an old mystery!
    Since I've started animation, I've always wondered why Cruella's car was so rigid, compared to the usually "squashy" look of Disney characters and objects. And how could the drawing be so precise, giving the car a look of a cel shaded CGI object looong before it was actually possible?
    Well, I think this is brilliant!


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  4. The car looks great with this method (as does the similar effect they used for Stromboli's wagon 20 years earlier). It must have been hard to get it to look like it had real weight.
    However the snow doesn't look very good, unfortunately. It doesn't really work, in my opinion

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  5. Did they do the same thing for Stromboli's cart??? How did they do that without the xerox process??? Andreas, I think we need a posting about THAT! :-)

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    Replies
    1. I'm quite sure they rotoscoped some of the exterior of the wagon, when Pinocchio escapes out the back. I'm sure they COULD have drawn it from scratch if they needed to, but I think for stuff like this using models is totally fine.

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    2. Would that mean they built a model, then filmed it, then made photostats out of it and traced, inked and painted every frame???

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  6. And then when you guys made Oliver & Company, it became CGI cars.

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  7. I always through Cruella's car looked amazing and now I know why

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  8. We used to roll Cruelly's car down the hall at break time. Dick used to keep it and other models stashed next to his desk.

    Stromboli's wagon was photographed on film with the subsequent images transferred to large wash off cels that were then painted on the reverse side. It worked well in the darker scenes although you can see the "crawling". They also used the floating peg bar with the angle adjuster for additional movement.

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  9. Did they use this process for the storybook with the pages turning in the Winnie the Pooh shorts?

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  10. Out of the box thinking at its best!

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  11. This car model was exposed at Paris in Musée Art Ludique last winter. It was a fantastic exhibition but my favorite part was the one on 101 dalmatians with this car model and the complete storyboard of the sequence.

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