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Behind the scenes with Dave Stafford

Dave Stafford, another of the incredibly talented animators that the Disney Company let slip away, is interviewed in the VFXBlog (after you’re done with this interview, read the rest of the blog it’s great!). In addition to dishing the dirt on his most recent project, David Duchovny’s ‘House of D’, he waxes about his work on Roger Rabbit.

There was a moment there where we thought we had pulled back animation.
It was back in there. Because it was dying. It really was sort of
falling aside. That was such a popular film, mainly because of
Zemeckis. He didn’t know anything about animation outside of the idea
that he liked it and he knew what to ask for. So he would say, ‘OK, I
want you to do this: Daffy Duck comes in here and he gets in a fight
with Donald Duck’. And then you would do that and he would say, ‘Great!
Now move on to your next scene’. It was just so much fun. It was like
being a real actor. If you did what he said, you were done. You moved
onto the next scene, which kept your momentum going.

Stafford also dishes on some of the reasons he things 2-D animation will never die:

When you animate something with a pencil, every single drawing is
different. You can cheat the shape of something to get an effect. It
might just be for that one drawing that you’re going to push this one
image. Now to do that in CG you have to go in there and rebuild that
head and stretch it and do all kinds of weird stuff to it. That could
take you days. In traditional animation, it takes me two seconds. It’s
like, ‘Bam! I drew those eyes unique for the one frame.’ If I just
wanted it to pop for one frame, they takes me two seconds to do. With
CG, you gotta go back in, dive into the wire structure, build a model
of it and all this crap. Then you find out that it didn’t work! And you
spent two days messing around with an eye. It’s just not my thing.

There’s much much more.

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