At the suggestion of series director Pablo Larraín, we dove into the world of puppetry to conceptualize a story that would convey the inner life of Lisey, played by Julianne Moore. Finding metaphor in the strings, we designed the two main characters as marionettes, combining classical craft and modern technology. By working with master puppeteers, we developed a live-action performance that we then shot, edited and enhanced with vfx to underscore the emotions and transformations that unfold.
I was in charge of the initial design and styleframes. Also sculpted all of the puppet designs/modeling/texturing in the CG world that were later adopted into real marionettes created by Michael Curry Design Inc. I also created all of the VFX shots that were using the CG marionettes. It was plenty of fun and definitely the most interesting workflow I've ever experienced.
cinematographer: michael bernard puppeteers: tyler stuart, jeff speetjens puppet fabrication: michael curry design prop stylist: matthew eikelberger edited by lexi gunvaldson lead designer/modeler/animator: henry chang animators: merrill hall, russ gautier storyboard: justin quinlan vfx support: brandon savoy additional design: kathy liang, fernando lazzari, jake ferguson, isabell hacker interns: kayley wang, eugene hyun – producer: renee robson production coordinator: jake fritz
Styleframes I created in CG. Meant to create the look and help figure out the camera/lighting before our shoot.
Here are some behind the scene studies. The process included the design of the marionettes, texturing, and sculpting the resemblance of the actress/actor into the faces of our puppets. Actual marionettes were created by Michael Curry design Inc.
So here's the whole ride... a rough montage of some of the processes involved, enjoy!
We studied many Marrionette styles and decide to blend the traditional marionette design with a bit of twist. We were especially fascinated by some of the vintage fashion mannequin references we came across.
In order to maintain some resemblance of our actress, I use the photogrammetry technique to get a base geometry to start with before our sculpting process.
We went through different iterations trying to find the right balance between an artistic interpretation of our actress/actor and a real-life resemblance of their features. Here are a few versions done by me.
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