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July 23, 2009 - A Christmas Carol / Robert Zemeckis talks about his movie

Scooped on Thursday, July 23, 2009

In an exclusive one-on-one interview with Ain't It Cool News, director Robert Zemeckis. In it Zemeckis goes into why he chose to make A Christmas Carol using motion capture animation, why he chose Jim Carrey as his main man and how the technology has advanced from when he first began to use it to where it stands right now.

"We made a couple of technological breakthroughs including now using the retina as a marker, so whatever the performer does, even with the smallest movement of the eye is recorded with four high def cameras now, so we’ve got that really really zeroed in on as far as the technology is concerned, secondly and what we realized and when I did Polar Express, the thing that I thought was a noble gesture if you will, was to bring the design of the characters the way that Chris Van Alsburg designed them to life and what you realize is that maybe sometimes characters that are painted in a certain style don’t necessarily lend themselves to be digitized in performance capture," explains Zemeckis.

"So what we learned is there are certain things that you have to do in the design of the character to alleviate that. The second thing is that it’s all about lighting them more photoreal and in an interesting way, you have to go in with an artist’s paintbrush and I mean a digital paint brush, like the way Rembrandt would, rather the way a computer would paint it within it’s virtual reality, so in other words the computer sees 'Oh this character is over here and it’s light source is over here and there’s this light source is over here and so that’s where the highlights have to go and that’s real,' but it’s not right if you know what I mean."

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