Apon seeing it for the first time last September, when it was shown at Fantastic Fest of all places, I became a HUGE fan of John Kahrs’ animated short film Paperman. It’s an incredibly sweet, heart-warming short and a throw back to the days of classic Disney animation. Yet what makes Kahrs’ short so unique is that it’s the first project to use this groundbreaking new computer technology. Likened, roughly to rotoscoping, the animators are able to wrap a 2D image/sketch around a dynamic 3D frame giving each pencil stroke and texture incredible depth and a free flowing look. In short, lines stretch and bend organically retaining the character of the animator’s drawing style.
If you missed it in theaters when it played before Wreck-It Ralph don’t worry because as of today it’s now available on-line for all to see (thanks to the Huffington Post for the heads up).It’s an amazing piece of work and it was recently nominated for an Academy Award which just goes to show how great it is and how widely received it’s been. So enough blabbing, let’s let the spectacular animation speak for itself…enjoy!
After being wow’ed by Paperman at Fantastic Fest I was lucky enough to talk with director John Kahrs immediately following its screening. He gave lots of insight on this brief and light-hearted short. It may seem simple but the real story was that Paperman was a labor of love and took a long time to come to fruition. The story behind Kahr’s original idea, its development, the technology and execution were all part of a process that spanned years. If you’re interested you should really check out my lengthy but immensely insightful interview with John here. I just can’t get over how enjoyable that short was and the music from Christophe Beck just put it over the top doesn’t it?
Paperman is a wonderful combination of traditional 2D animation and CG. This hybrid style (achieved by creating CG animatics and then laying 2D drawings over those polygons) yields something that has the look of traditional hand drawn animation but moves with the fluidly of CG. Sounds simple but again, it’s a lot of work. Here’s hoping this groundbreaking style helps push storytelling to new heights. What did you think of Paperman??