Framestore Creates Magic in 'Mulan'
Working with Director Niki Caro, Framestore’s VFX team’s deft touch and pixel-perfect artistry on Mulan paid tribute to both the much-loved animated classic and the original 1,500-year-old Chinese ballad on which it was based.
VFX Supervisor Hubert Maston (Dumbo) collaborated with Framestore’s Vis Dev, animation and VFX teams across a wide range of scenes and 300-plus shots, including the graceful, multi-colored Phoenix; a truly epic battle sequence; and enormous matte-painted volcanic landscapes.
“Our main aim was seeing how VFX could support and augment the story of Mulan; instead of conjuring fantasy-based effects, we wanted to help build the kind of grandness and heraldic scale the story demanded," says Maston. "Ultimately we wanted audiences to feel immersed in Mulan’s rich and vibrant world, making them feel part of the sweeping landscapes and the incredible action setpieces.”
As well as photoreal environment builds and set extensions, there were, of course, moments of “Disney magic” that allowed Framestore to demonstrate its talent for the fantastical, such as the Phoenix, Mulan’s “spiritual guide.”
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