Recently, I saw Lightyear in IMAX and I loved the movie. Thanks to our friends over at Disney, I also had the absolute privilege of speaking to some of the Canadian animators who worked on the film, including Rob Gennings and I was able to sit down with him for a few minutes and talk about his work on Lightyear and how it was animating in IMAX. Our full conversation will be up soon but in the meantime, here’s a snippet discussing how it was animating in IMAX:
BSL: Lightyear has made history as the first animated film to have an expanded IMAX aspect ratio. Did you animated any of the IMAX sequences?
Rob: I did, yeah. I worked on an action sequence that was in IMAX.
BSL: What was the challenge of IMAX because I know there’s probably like more space you need to animate with the expanded aspect ratio, can you tell me how it was working on it?
Rob: Yeah it was mainly just a concern of making sure that compositionally, everything is working for both frames. You kind of have to consider that this is what you’re going to see on a standard screen, but you have all this extra real estate so you want to make it look good for IMAX but, anything that’s integral has to be in this framing because it can’t be missed if someone’s not watching it in IMAX. So that was that was really just had to make sure that compositionally, everything worked for both framing.
BSL: So when you’re animating, do you animate the IMAX shot first or do you animate the standard ratio shot and then animate the rest later?
Rob: Both. You kind of have both available to check while you’re working so you can make sure that everything is fine.
It sounds like animating in IMAX was definitely hard but let me tell you, it was definitely worth it. Seeing this film in IMAX was such a wonderful experience and I cannot wait to see it again when Lightyear releases in theatres on June 17. Be sure to look out for my full conversation with Rob in the coming days!