Friday, February 10, 2012

Rumors Swirl Around Disney's Mysterious 'Paperman'

Earlier this week, an unannounced short from Walt Disney Animation Studios, titled Paperman, was given a G rating by the MPAA. Naturally, word about the project has begun leaking out, leading to some very interesting theories.

Bleeding Cool discovered a reference to Paperman on the personal blog of Disney animator Patrick Osborne, who names himself as being the animation supervisor on the short.

Osborne writes:
"We’re finishing up a rather exciting project at Disney in the next few weeks. It’s been keeping me pretty busy and away from this blog. The short, directed by John Kahrs, will be heading out there sometime next year. We’re very proud of this one and can’t wait to show the world."
Kahrs, a former Pixar animator, joined Disney around 2007 and most recently served as animation supervisor on Tangled. Osborne also names the film's producer, art director, and VFX supervisor.

Pixar animator Catherine Hicks added this on Twitter:
"I saw Disney's new short Paperman yesterday. I have never seen anything like it before. Absolutely incredible. Hard to describe."
Dutch site reports that there may be more to these comments than the expected pre-release enthusiasm. Their sources have whispered that Paperman was created using a "new technique" that's been "described as groundbreaking" and 'could wipe motion capture from the map'.

Of course, this is light years away from being substantiated. But it does mesh with what we know about the development of light field imaging technology at Pixar and Disney Research.

As I exclusively reported last year, the studio has filed patent applications for methods that allow light field data to be converted into rendered 3D images. That would certainly change the playing field for mocap.

We'll find out what Paperman is all about, and what makes it so special, soon enough. Osborne's wrote 'next year' in December, so it wouldn't be a shock to see it attached to Wreck-It Ralph following a festival run.

(Hat tip to Stitch Kingdom)


Logan Pearsall said...

Here's a related post by Art Director, Jeff Turley:

Bob said...

Waiting with bated breath!

Jordan said...

Sounds like awesome stuff!

Nini said...

Interesting but I don't want this to end up like Glago's Ghost where if you didn't see it when the film it was attached to had it's theatrical release you'll never get to see it.

Anonymous said...

Sounds interesting, can't wait.

Mike Bastoli said...

Nini: Glago's Guest, actually.

Is your name Mater Too? said...

Can't wait to see it!

Anonymous said...

Catherine Hicks' comment on Twitter re: Paperman, appears to have been deleted.

Anonymous said...

Award winning short film PAPERMAN was produced in 2010. Screened at over 40 International Film Festivals ( RAINDANCE, CLERMONT FERRAND, THE NEW YORK SHORT FILM FESTIVAL....)