Following are roll-over images that point out the deformed LEGO minifigures in the new Lucas Arts® LEGO game

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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®. The more it surprises 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 motion figures are normally done through a technique called "motion capture". This is a so called soft body deformation. This makes sense since the human body s filled with water and except the bones everything is pretty much deformable.

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 air for a little 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 world before the animated 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 the core of the LEGO universe, the minifigure. Following images outline the areas where the minifigure is kaputt and what would not be approved under our animation guidelines.

Watch the trailer yourself HERE

A real minifigure cannot spread it's legs. Body parts cannot penetrate.
A minifigure cannot spread it's arms or the legs. The hands are rigidly stuck into the arm and cannot bend.
Entire minifigure bent. Hand bent.
Spreading legs. Deformed hands. Spreading arms and deformed neck.
Spreading legs, spreading arms and waving hair (discussable).
Buckled leg, entire body deformed. Unrealistically broken hands.
Squashed hand and head detaches from body.
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