In addition to the Mikros Animation teams, a small team of artists from MPC in Liège, Belgium, worked on a sequence from The Tiger’s Apprentice! This was an international project involving several time zones, and here is the feedback from Ryan Bardoul, Lead CG at MPC Liège:
- What was your role on TA as the Lead CG?
Initially, I was in charge of CFX (clothing and fur simulation) in Liège. After numerous reviews with one of the directors, our department finished ahead of schedule. I then took on the organization of the Lighting department as the lead and concluded the project by overseeing the D.I. team, finalizing our exports for color grading.
- How was the collaboration with Mikros Animation teams?
It took some time to establish smooth communication with Mikros Animation Paris, but once in place, it was highly efficient! I spent a lot of time exchanging ideas with the Parisian animation teams since we used their work for our simulations. Despite some challenges, they were always available to help us or provide corrections to their work – it was very enjoyable!
- What were the main artistic and technical challenges on TA?
The first challenge was adapting to the pipeline for all our departments. The VFX and Animation pipelines are quite different, and we had to navigate all the subtleties to complete the project, especially since we joined TA with a new sequence just four months before delivery.
Another challenge initially, which ultimately became an advantage, was that our zodiac character introduction sequence was relatively unique in the film. This allowed us to find a unique artistic direction, which posed its own difficulties but allowed us to maintain control and engage in artistic back-and-forths with the directors.
- What’s your favorite scene, favorite character, and why?
I found Mistral’s introduction scene very well done. She appears to “save” our hero and the tiger from shadows in an alley. The animation is fast and visceral, especially considering the scene’s brevity. That’s why she’s one of my favorite characters.
- What are you most proud of on TA?
I’m very proud of having learned the pipeline for all the departments at Mikros Animation in a few months. I was able to assist my colleagues in Liège significantly as we navigated the new challenges posed by this change, especially for those of us accustomed to working primarily in VFX.
- Describe the film in 3 words 😊
‘Classic’ but with ‘excellent’ ‘ideas’.
- Any concluding words?
At the project’s outset, a few of us from Liège were in Paris to collaborate directly with Mikros Animation teams. I finally got to meet many people I had worked with over the years at MPC, and it was delightful! As a bonus, we had a great night out in Paris.