With the release of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem, just around the corner we are launching our new series Behind the Shell, where we dive behind the scenes of the project with some of the artists who played a key role in it. In today’s Q&A we sat down with DMP Animation Supervisor at Mikros Animation, Arnaud Philippe-Giraux.
Q: Hi Arnaud, can you tell us about your role in animation and journey into Mikros Animation?
A: Hello! My role is to provide projected 2.5d matte painting backgrounds and any kind of 2d paintings on top of renders. Before TMNT, I worked on Astérix 2 at Mikros Animation.
Q: What was your first reaction after learning you’d be working on the DMP Animation for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem?
A: A huge surprise and lot of excitement! I’m born in the 80s and grew up in the 90s. I jumped in right away!
Q: What does your role as a DMP Supervisor look like on the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem project?
A: It didn’t look like anything I’ve experienced before. The showstyle breaks the standards of course, but the 2d feel of the movie requested a lot of material from our team, including small animations to keep New York City alive.
Describe the project in 3 words
Q: Which TMNT character do you relate to the most?
A: It depends! I’m Raph when it comes to do an exciting task. Once done, I’m back to being Donnie.
Q: While working on the CG animated film, what were the main artistic or technical challenges you had to overcome in your department?
On the art side: understanding a new style while developing the look of backgrounds.
On the tech side: assuring we kept the 2d environments alive and flexible.
But the biggest challenge of all was to build an efficient workflow to match and follow TMNT’s visual targets!
Q: What was your favorite part of the project?
A: Lots of good things! The look development of the environment, the ability and freedom to propose visual and technical solutions and most of all : the DMP Team.
Q: What have you learned since working on the TMNT film visual effects?
A: I’ve learned so much! From production to management, art to technical setup, interaction with other departments to client, and the list goes on. Working with TDs was very instructive, they’re wizards!
Q: When you’re not working on a project, you can be found…
Q: What advice would you give to someone who wants to be a Digital Matte Painter?
A: My advice would be to focus on painting skills of course, with basics of 2d compositing. Approaching real time 3D would be a good move as well.
This will give a larger set of skills that fits matte painting of course, but also providing any kind of 2d solutions for CG departments.
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