Here is some of the work I did on UP (2005-2008).
After finding they cannot have children, Carl & Ellie make Paradise Falls their life goal.
CARL & ELLIE
One of the goals for the Prologue was to evoke the feeling of childhood and innocence, with story & design.Gouache
A DAY IN THE LIFE
Explorations of old age and loneliness. The idea was to keep Carl isolated within the frame and suggest loss with composition & light. The film deals a lot with loss and letting go of the past.
CARL IN COLOR
Character Design: Daniel Lopez Munoz
Design Sculpt: Greg Dykstra
I painted and photographed this sculpt to see what Carl might look like in different lighting. Bryn Imagire (Shading Art Director) painted other sculpts exploring healthier complexions. She also made models of the house, plants, and rocks, to impart a tactile quality to the digital work.
On UP I made some animated tests using After Effects as a way to take static images further. Using music and sound also helped the tone of a scene or idea.
Exploring the way light might change in a room as the house travels through the clouds.
Music by Nelson Riddle
Music by Maurice Ravel
I made these figures then photographed them on my desktop. The smallest figure is the size of a grape. It was a way of arranging and finding interesting compositions in 3D. EFX were added in Photoshop.
Figures: balsa wood/wire/acrylic
The weather can change within minutes on top of a Tepui, from eerily foggy to sunny and back. This is a moment in the film, when Carl sees Paradise Falls (Angel Falls in real life) for the very first time.
Music by John Williams
TEPUI RESEARCH TRIP
I had the opportunity of visiting Venezuela with some of the other crew members. Tepuis are large, flat-top mountains that rise out of the jungle basin. They are so tall that certain species of plant and animal only exist at the top, a mile above the jungle floor.
Nat McLaughlin (Environment Artist) left and Ronnie Del Carmen (Head of Story) right. This gives a sense of the topography on Roraima, the highest of all the Tepuis.
This map was made after we returned from Venezuela and charts the course of the main characters and obstacles they encounter. Muntz's hangar lies at the middle of a crossroads, between the bird's nesting grounds and Paradise Falls, an important path Carl must take.Gouache
TEPUI & JUNGLE STUDIES
After returning from the trip, we were inspired to illustrate what we saw. A challenge in CG is conveying how something feels, over how it looks in reality. Research trips can sometimes be a plus and a minus: the plus in that visiting a place surpasses what you gain from photos alone, the minus in being a slave to the reality.
Imagination and feeling should dictate everything.
These were done for our 'looks' test to get a sense of where we were headed stylistically (stylized to more naturalistic).
We wanted to use light theatrically, as a way to selectively indicate detail.
Another study in selective detail. The idea was that depth of field could simplify the jungle, allowing backgrounds to go softer and more impressionistic, so the eye could focus on the foreground.
Muntz was originally based on Howard Hughes, the aviation pioneer who became a recluse in his later years. In an earlier version of the story Muntz was obsessed with the Snipe eggs, which could reverse old age like the fountain of youth.Gouache
MUNTZ & HIS DOGS
When a story is in early development..anything goes.
These thumbnails were done in preparation for our CG 'looks' test. The goal was to solidify our treatment of organic environments as well as make a setting in which the characters could interact.
This CG test was the resulting work of many departments and taught us a great deal. I brought these frames into Photoshop and added some atmosphere and efx, which the Lighting Department used to tweak the final shots.
Film renders/Photoshop pass
COLOR SCRIPT ACT I
The first pass color script for ACT I. Others were also done for ACTS II & III. These are very simple, but help give a sense of the film's tone, which is taken further with lighting keys.
FINAL COLOR SCRIPT
This was my last assignment on UP. I tried providing more lighting information than the abstract scripts, which are more for tone. Other artists also contributed greatly to the lighting design of the film and the Lighting Team led by Jean-Claude Kalache did a super job.Digital