eTech & Art & More

Shrek: the story behind the scenes

Part 1, Jan Hardenbergh

This course was introduced by Jeffrey Katzenberg, the K in SKG Dreamworks. He had two very notable quotes.  SIGGRAPH is where we see "where we've been; what's cool right now; and where we're going". He talked about how transient the state of the art was, how fast the tools grow, but in his words "heart is the coolest tool of all".

Ken Bielenberg,  visual effects supervisor, from PDI talked about how they had just finished ANTZ and how Shrek was about 10 times as complex. Princess Fiona was the first time a human and humanoid were central characters - and how important it is for the audience to connect with the characters emotionally. The characters are stylistically realistic, not photorealistic. Repeated idea: the technology should not get in the way of the story.

George Bruder was in charge of the "pipeline": 1100 processor render farm, 6 terabytes of disk space, 1300 key shots, there own internal CFD software. He described the "hero shots" where the flaming bridge or the spraying beer becomes the central character for several seconds - just like special effects in live action pictures.

Part 2 By Hal Newnan

[being edited]

For more information on the course  from the S2001 site & IMDB on Shrek


Stylistically realistic

To tell a story, the only real question is: Do you stop noticing the graphics and just enjoy the story? 

Probably the first computer animation in which the story transcended the technology was Luxo Jr. I forget who told the story, but the gist of it was that they knew they had done a great job when people leaving the ET were asking whether the big Luxo was the mother or the father.


This page is maintained by YON - Jan C. Hardenbergh