Wednesday, February 11, 2009


  I know I'm a bit late on the "Coraline post", but thought it would be a good excuse to post again! A couple years ago I got a call from this new studio called "Laika". They were doing a new Henry Selick film called Coraline and needed someone to design and animate the facial expressions (including design mouth shapes for dialogue) for all the characters in the film. And they wanted it ALL to be 2D upfront (it would later be modeling in the computer then molds would be made from that). It was a sweet gig-- I lived in Portland for 6 weeks, all expenses paid and was scared to death every day of failing miserably. I was surrounded by people who were infinitely more talented than I was and I learned a ton from it/them. It was my first venture in design, and I was therefor terrified. It was kinda like designing with training wheels on. I was already working with solid stuff, I just had to make it emote.
   I used to love walking around the warehouse where all the sets were being built-- it really felt like we were all making something special and new; something all of us artists talk about but never get a chance to ACTUALLY work on.  And here I found myself working on something that I had always talked about working on. (I'll post pictures of the warehouse later). 
  I didn't end up doing all the characters but I did end up designing for the Cat, Forcible, and the Ghost Children. I did some REALLY rough passes on Spink and Bobinski but I don't think they got used.
  So GO SEE THIS SPECIAL FILM! And I'll post more stuff from the film as time allows.


Vincent Gorman said...

What a great experience! I heard great things about the movie. I'll be checking it out soon. Let's hope more features will be coming out of Laika.

Copper said...

thats awesome!
I haven't seen Coraline, but maybe I will when it hits the cheap theatre.

but great work as usual

Copper said...

scratch that, I got a chance to see it.
it was really awesome story-wise... but really really awesome animation-wise.

i saw in the credits something about face design or something, so i looked for you... then i realized i didn't know your name. haha

i know it now, but i just knew you as the Hand Drawn Nomad.

Matt Williames said...

Vince: Yeah totally check it out, and I know you can be expecting more coolness from Laika!

Copper: So cool you got to see and I am so glad you dug it. Unfortunately several people weren't credited for work they did on the film. I was one of them, so you wouldn't have been able to find my name in the credits anyway. I think they are going to correct the mistake for the DVD though.

louis de La Taille said...

Finally new stuff on the blog !It surellly worth waiting, but could you please be more regular in your post ! it's a bit sadistic to let us wait like this !

Chris Palmer said...

What a wonderful experience. It's great to see the process of how a film is created, and this is an exciting and interesting part of it. Thanks for posting, Matt!

Unknown said...

hey Matt,
Cool tests! I didn't know they started with 2D, the expressions in the final film were outstanding. I love the two actresses. Their song cracks me up, and my eyes just about popped out when the venus outfit is revealed. Everyone at Pixar really dug the film, great work man!

bee line_7 said...

what a great work...

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