“The Croods” – Croodaceous Creatures & Worlds
In February, I had the opportunity to attend the Family Blogger Summit. It was awesome meeting the team behind the adventurous and hilarious animated film, “The Croods.” While there, we not only got to watch “The Croods” in 3D, but we also got to learn more about the making of the film. It was an awesome event and one of my favorite parts was learning about the Croodaceous creatures and worlds.
After touring the DreamWorks campus, we entered a room that was amazing! It was like we stepped into the jungle and were a part of the Croodaceous period ourselves. It had colorful flowers, draping vines, trees, and more! It was so creative! We started the session with an introduction from Mr. Markus Manninen, who is the Visual Effects Supervisor on “The Croods.”
Describing the New World, Mr. Markus Manninen says, “The interesting thing with the New World for us, is it’s not just the New World that the family discovers — when they come out of their old habitat and this new world in front of them reels itself and they’re forced into it. It was important for the story that it felt like earth because we wanted this to be a family, a regular family that were trying to survive and go through regular life in their context of actually survival and eating.”
CREATING A CROODACEOUS WORLD IN “THE CROODS”
Markus Manninen started to tell us about how inspiration plays a big part in creating the Croodaceous world in “The Croods.” The art department, especially the Production Designer, Christopher Lautrette, spent a lot of time looking for the movie’s “shape language” – or the forms that would make up this beautiful organic world in “The Croods.”
“We decided we really want to feel color come into this world so that, when the movie starts, we get to know the world that the family is in and the limitations in some ways visually of that and then this beautifully blossoming color world comes to life in front of them and shocks us as an audience because we’re going through the journey with them,” Manninen said.
The next step in the process is to translate the images and ideas, directing the art department on how to create their world. The world then begins to be created on a computer in 3D graphics. The art department then describes the materials that this world is made out of, the color schemes, the palette and everything.
Then comes the execution, or the lighting reference. For example, you have a tree or a bush. Then you start thinking about how to put those together and make the the visual storytelling come to life.
The next step is production. First, they start off by modeling the location. They model the world so they can actually see how they’re going to use it in production, and Directors Chris Sanders and Kirk DeMicco start talking about how they want to stage the action with the camera people.
I loved it when Manninen said, “There’s a perception that the computers make the movie. It really is the artists making the movie, and the computer is the tool – it’s the pen that we use. All these pieces come together, and artists from every department sort of help drive it towards the final goal.”
WHY ADD GRAN TO THE MIX OF CHARACTERS IN “THE CROODS?”
Director Kirk DeMicco talked about when they first started thinking about “The Croods” as a family and a family road trip – the first family. One of the exciting things was to have a whole big family. But why Gran, the mother-in-law? First, she was great for the comedy aspect. Second, one of the things Gran does throughout the movie is to exhibit a tone much like the rest, which is taken pretty silly. However, with Gran, there is also wisdom and a good heart.
HOW ABOUT THOSE CROODACEOUS CREATURES?
I personally loved the creativity involved in designing the creatures in “The Croods!” The team felt like it was important to have a couple of animals who were staples, such as the saber tooth tiger and mammoth. They changed up the saber tooth tiger a little bit by moving his teeth around and making them more like tusks. The question to answer now was, How do we create animals that are fresh and exciting? This is where artist, Shane Pregmore, comes into play.
Shane Pregmeore came up with a great solution – take the animals and combine them. For instance, how about a Fish-cat, Hippodillo, Molar Bear, or Sharkadile. There are a ton of combined creatures in “The Croods.” So, you’ll have to head to the movies on March 22nd and check it out for yourself!
THE CROODS SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS
Visit the official website.
Like The Croods on Facebook
Follow @DWAnimation on Twitter #TheCroods
Re-pin great DIY tutorials, printables and more from The Croods on Pinterest!
20th Century Fox and Dreamworks provided hotel and accommodations for my attendance at the Parent Blogger Summit. All opinions expressed in this post are 100% mine.