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First I'd like to express my gratitude to Lucas Arts® for inventing
so many universes and letting us experience all those great films
and games. As kid or as a grown up I have always enjoyed
the products from Lucas Arts®.
me that this company, that put a lot of work into their universe,
seems to have very little understanding of transporting LEGO's universe
into the animated domain.
Having worked at LEGO myself we were challenged to
animate LEGO minifigures. We brainstormed a lot about how
this should be done. At a first glance, obviously,
LEGO minifigures seem to be carton figures. In animation we differ
between cartoon animation and real human motion animation. The human
figures are normally done through a technique called "motion
This is a so called soft body deformation. This makes sense since
the human body s filled with water and except the bones everything
Cartoon figures like the Disney® or Warner Brothers® characters are
normally animated by key framing because the artist can then use a
technique called "Squash
and Stretch" to emphasize certain movements.
e.g. Donald runs off a shore into the empty. He will rest in the
while and then his entire body will stretch in height before he falls
down to the ground.
Now with LEGO figures an artist is challenged to take the best of
both worlds and create a new genre of animation. The LEGO way of
animating LEGO figures. LEGO creates an entire universe with their
product line. They have characters venues and stories which are their
own or adopted from the real world. We thought that animating LEGO
minifigures should be as close as possible to the real world-toy.
The challenge was harder this way, because a lot of articulation
used in traditional cartoon animations would have to be skipped.
We called it "Be creative with constraints". Although the LEGO figure
looks like a cartoon figure, it existed in the real
versions and therefore the animated LEGO universe has to pay tribute
to that preexistence.
Now, and that's totally personal, I think Lucas Arts® could
have been more creative than just breaking, melting and violating
core of the LEGO universe, the minifigure. Following images outline
areas where the minifigure is kaputt and what would not be approved
under our animation guidelines.
Watch the trailer yourself HERE