At CNC summit next week, makers of ‘The Croods’ to share vision for animation’s future

The Center for New Cinema is very pleased to announce that producer Jane Hartwell and VFX supervisor Markus Manninen – both of DreamWorks Animation’s The Croods – will speak at the Cinematic Innovation Summit in Dubai this Dec 5-6.

As the top-grossing original film of 2013 (nearly US$600 million worldwide), The Croods has been praised for its story and performances, including an all-star voice cast of Nicolas Cage, Emma Stone and Ryan Reynolds.

But it has also drawn attention for its look. In what amounts to a paradigm shift for the animation industry, The Croods applied live-action VFX techniques: namely, they used lighting data captured from high dynamic range photos — like real moonlight, or real morning fog on a beach — to generate the movie’s animated imagery. By doing that, the production team created lighting effects that are incredibly realistic, even tangible.

Makers of The Croods also expanded the level of detail. Typical animated films focus their computer effects on the characters themselves — like the movement of their hair or the texture of their clothing. The Croods applies that processing power to everything the characters touched as well. The result is a much more immersive environment for the characters to interact with onscreen.

Talking about the Cinematic Innovation Summit and the evolution of animation, Jane Hartwell said, “From my beginnings at DreamWorks on Antz and Shrek until now on The Croods, the evolution of what’s possible to produce in computer animation has dramatically changed our abilities to push the boundaries as storytellers and artists.  I look forward to sharing our processes and discovering new ones at the Cinematic Innovation Summit in Dubai.”

To continue advancing animation and movies in general, sharing information is key, says Markus Manninen. “The staggering innovation going on in the film currently is pushing all of us to share what we’ve learned to move forward as an industry,” sais Manninen. “I look forward to an exciting experience in Dubai at the Cinematic Innovation Summit.”

Jane and Markus will present their vision for the future of animation, drawing on insights from The Croods. The presentation will be moderated by Guillaume de Fondaumière, CEO of video game maker Quantic Dream and producer of the 2013 game Beyond: Two Souls, starring Willem Dafoe and Ellen Page.

Held in association with the 10th Dubai International Film Festival, the Summit is co-produced by CNC and naseba. Two hundred leaders from cinematic entertainment, technology and finance backgrounds will attend the summit to project the future of the cinema and entertainment industry.

We hope to see you there!



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