“Visual effects at LAIKA, a crossroads of art and technology”

  • ©Steve Emerson



Entry Number: 00


    Visual effects at LAIKA, a crossroads of art and technology



    Making expansive worlds with enormous effects and several characters has always been a daunting task for stop-motion filmmakers. The reason is simple — if it’s in the film it has to be built. From puppets to buildings to salt shakers and the salt within, an artist needs to create tangible, real world objects in order for them to be captured in-camera with real world lighting. Coraline, LAIKA’s first feature film, was captured almost entirely in-camera. But as the scope of LAIKA’s films grew, the studio embraced technology in order to create unique, stylized universes unlike anything seen before in the stop motion genre. LAIKA’s hybrid approach evolved during production of the studio’s subsequent films, ParaNorman, The Boxtrolls and the studio’s current feature in production, Kubo and the Two Strings. In this presentation, VFX Supervisor Steve Emerson will guide audience members through the history of visual effects at LAIKA (in-camera and digital) and the evolution of their production processes over the past ten years. He will examine the studio’s live action approach to visual effects, the specifics of their workflow, the technology they’ve embraced and what the future holds.


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