Saturday, September 24, 2011

Sin City

In 2005, the movie Sin City, staring Mickey Rourke, Bruce Willis, and Clive Owen, premiered on hundreds of silver screens around the country. I remember learning that it was based on Frank Miller's graphic novel (well, more like a series of graphic novels) and I couldn't help but be completely spellbound with its animation. I had never seen another movie that had taken live action and completely transformed it to look like a comic. Most of the action is highly concentrated black and white with a few chosen colorful objects, and I couldn't wrap my head around how they could possibly do that with a film. Well its 6 years later, I have learned a few tricks and gained a little more experience in the industry, yet I am more impressed with the process they used to create the movie, as well as the techniques they used in order to achieve the detail of the original graphic novel.

If we look at the original panels from the book and compare it to the final product, we see the detail that went into the entire production design.

The costume designers were so precise that the placement of the bandages on Marv are actually in the exact same place on the book character as they were for the film character. Then if we look at the process that the artists and filmmakers used to enliven the graphic novel, we see exactly how much work had to go into the animation. Computer generated sets, color correction, and 3-D elements were just the beginning for this project.

Everything from the white rain... the black and white high contrast look of the graphic novel was CG.

After learning how to key green screens and garbage mat everything outside, I realize how simple this process can be. However, it is still an incredible amount of work for an entire movie, and to create the entire world on a computer is just incredible.

Here's another example of how much CG was used in the very first scene. Notice the color correction, color selection, texture, and set.


This is just a small portion of the effects used in this movie, but if anyone feels like exploring more, Animation World Network has a full 6 pages spread dedicated to the work that went into making this graphic novel a silver screen spectacle. I would highly recommend reading it as it goes into details about the project, what they used, and how they used it to created this graphic world.

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