Shot 1 This was my first shot on the film. I used this shot to learn Toon Boom's Harmony. I modeled and animated the gumbo (shrimp and bits of food) in Maya and rendered them out as a toon line. After importing it into Harmony I was able to ink and paint it, as an extra bonus I was able to export out my tones and my mattes from Maya for all of my food (that was a real time saver). Everything else was animated traditionally by hand in Harmony and composited by me in Harmony.
Shot 2 The flyer was a texture map on a nurbs plane built in Maya and animated. In Harmony I pulled mattes off of Tiana's hand. The door was built and textured in Maya as well.
Shot 3 I got to animate the opening title of the movie. For the words "Princess and the Frog" I drew a series of cut mattes and overexposed them using Harmony. I did a couple smoke cycles for the the shot and placed them throughout the scene. The dust on the rug was a quick down and dirty animation so I could get the shot out on time. I used Maya for the particle effects coming off of the trolley cars near the end. The smoke on the ships was a cycle from another shot I had completed. The far away ship also has some billowing smoke, for this I drew a held cell and ran noise through it. The water light reflections were done with mattes crossing over one another. The gleam on the title I ended up doing like 30 times to match the different translations the title was put into.
Shot 4 The magazine cover was done in Maya by texturing art work onto two nurb planes and hand keying the points to match the hand drawn animation. A toon line was then rendered of the magazine cover to make it mesh with the 2d animation a bit more.
Shot 5 This shot was mostly done in Maya. The tray, plates and food were all built and textured in Maya. I worked with background to get the right look of each element. After the look was nailed down I animated the tray (some on 1's some on 2's) to match Tiana. The powdered sugar was a 2d cycle that I drew and offset with transparency nodes in Harmony. The blur was also achieved in Maya and I added it as a ramp in Harmony to look more 2d.
Shot 6 The car was a background element that I placed on a peg and animated both the translations and rotations get the right feel. I built, rigged, textured and animated the wheels in Maya and imported them with a toon line into Harmony. The newspaper was also a 3d element that I did in Maya.
Shot 7 I animated the newspaper in Maya by using a texture map on a series of nurb planes. I had to break the paper up into various parts because the paper is crumpled and by doing this I was able to control the look better. I ended up doing this shot various times for the many different languages that the movie was translated into.
Shot 8 The bubbles and look in this shot were done by Dan Lund (an amazing effects artist). I sat next to Dan and he asked to see if I could add anything to the water in the shot. I first tried to do caustic lighting in 3d but I felt I was slowing the process of the shot down so I opted to go at it in 2d. I animated the caustic effects by drawing held cells and placing them on pegs and running them through cutters which would expose various parts of the designs that I drew. For the background I was able to take different layers and run a sine wave through them and used blur nodes in Harmony to throw various parts of the background out of focus to add depth. The light reflections on the water were done with animated mattes that I animated straight ahead.
Shot 9 This was a pretty straight forward shot. The wheel and belt that Juju the snake is moving with his tail was all done in Maya and exported as a toon line along with the tones. The light beam I animated straight ahead by tracking Mama Odie, I then layered various beams to add depth. Much of the beam work I did was toned down so the effect really cannot be seen, it was done because I initially colored the shot as bright morning sunlight but later found out it was to be right before dawn making the light in the sky a cool blue. Oh well.
Shot 10 This shot, as far as effects was mainly done inMaya. The glass bottles were all modeled and rendered out of Maya. The lights shining off of the bottles onto the background and 2d characters was done by building a rig. I made a large sphere and placed a camera inside then parented shapes to the inside of the sphere and made layers out of them according to what color they might be in the shot. I kept it simple and ended up with four main colors. I animated the sphere on two axis to create the motion and a cycle. I rendered each color of light as black so that in Harmony a glow node could be ran through it. This was done so the art director could easily change any group of lights to any colors he wanted to.
Shot 11 I was originally to have 3 weeks to do this shot but because they wanted this in a trailer I was given only 1 week so I got down to it quick. I think I worked around 80 hours that week just getting it done but I did. Various bottles were done in background and we then picked a few bottles to be done in 3d. The light beams was the most challenging because as I layered more and more beams from various bottles I began to blow out the colors at a fast rate due to the various glows. After some trial and error I was able to reach a happy medium. I used the characters separately as I animated certain beams so they would cut into them to make them feel more in the shot. I also distorted the background and characters as they passed behind the 3d bottles using Harmony.
Shot 12 The magic gumbo was a bit of a challenge. I had to do all of the shots of the magic gumbo but not spend an extremely large amount of time (there was just too much to do). This was the first shot so I animated it as the master shot to be used in the other corresponding shots. The soup was drawn on various levels as held cells and distorted to look like it sat on a plane in space. I used rotation pegs to animate it swirling around and ran noise through it. The foam from the stick was hand animated as were the light effects. I was able to use the soup animation in all the corresponding shots and get the shots out on time.