Reveal Making of ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem’ with Breakdown Reel of Mikros Animation
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem is an animated superhero film based on the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles characters created by Peter Laird and Kevin Eastman. It tells a story about after years of hiding in the shadows, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles set out to win the hearts of New Yorkers and join the human world as normal teenagers. With the help of their new friend, budding journalist April O’Neil, Raph, Mikey, Leo, and Donnie take on a powerful criminal underworld - but will their ninja skills be enough to bring down an army of mutants?
Check out the official trailer of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem:
Up to now, this unique 2D-driven and well-produced 3D animated feature film has been nominated for more than 50 animation/film awards, which could only be achieved with years of hard work from the production team. Mikros Animation was the main animation studio for the film, and VFX supervisor Matthieu Rouxel began working with director Jeff Rowe on creating a unique style. For over two years, their global teams in Montreal and Paris (more than 550 members) created cinematic and several unique animation styles for the film.
While the style of the film appears to be 2D, 95% of it was made in 3D, and even the pencil lines that create the shadows and details were done in CG as part of molding each character. “I’ve been working in CG movies for years, and I was always trying to break that nice, clean 3D aspect, and try to get back the vibe of something more 2D-driven and more artistic,” says Matthieu. “For me, it was a mix of those two things that really make this movie unique.” Exactly, the use of doodles and hand-drawn elements in the animation adds a teenager’s notebook vibe to the film, setting it apart from other contemporary animated movies.
Image from Mikros Animation
The director Rowe didn't want to use a final filter on the film to achieve the stylization, making it difficult to break the clean CG appearance. According to Rouxel, they tried several things right from the start, such as incorporating asymmetry into the models. This included different sizes for the eyes, uneven shoulders, and varying cheek shapes. Additionally, they gave the models a clay-like texture and used pencil-like lines with different thicknesses to create a 2D art sensation.
In the next 5 minutes, let’s explore the breakdown reel to understand the creation process of CG graphics and animation, learning about the development of characters, backgrounds, lighting, and FX to uncover the distinctive animation style of the film.
Mikros Animation’s breakdown reel
Source: Mikros Animation
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