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Behind the scenes with MPC Film's Character Lab team! Watch our video and find out what our artists have to say about working on photo-realistic animals, digital doubles, creatures and monsters!

Business Insider: How 'Pokémon Detective Pikachu' was animated

Business Insider interviewed Pete Dionne for a YouTube video on how we animated Pokemon: Detective Pikachu.

Check it out on INSIDER's YouTube channel.

io9: How Detective Pikachu Built Its Adorable Star

io9 interviewed MPC's VFX Supervisor Pete Dionne about Pokémon: Detective Pikachu.
“Being the most recognizable and iconic Pokémon, and character designs, in the last few decades, he was probably the most difficult character [to get right] from the point of, ‘How much do we bend his design before he no longer looks like Pikachu?’,” Dionne told us. “Other characters, there’s a little more leeway poking through than with Pikachu—the slightest deviation from the original TV design and he stopped looking like Pikachu. Knowing that we’re throwing fur on him and putting Ryan Reynolds’ snarky personality in him, how were we going to find the balance?”

After speaking with Pete, io9 also wrote a piece on the creation of Lickitung.

Naturally, we’re inquisitively-minded folks, so we asked the obvious: What does a Lickitung tongue actually feel like? Turns out, the answer is babies. “It feels like a baby’s tongue,” Dionne revealed. “Ultimately, what we ended up using was a giant, scaled-up baby’s tongue, with the same very soft, but slightly coarse texture, with the slightest level of moisture. And trust me when I say a lot of discussion went into that.”

Time Magazine speak to MPC’s Overall VFX Supervisor Erik Nordby, for Pokémon: Detective Pikachu

Time Magazine recently spoke to VFX Supervisor Erik Nordby to discuss the challenges faced when producing the first live-action Pokémon film.

"Animating animals, as in recent live-action remakes of titles like The Jungle Book, is one matter. But transforming adored fictional creatures that have been drawn in one specific way for two decades is another entirely. The process saw more than a thousand digital artists across the world working for three years through trial and error, all against a backdrop of ceaseless debate.

The team settled on around 65 Pokémon that would appear in the movie and began trying to solve their anatomical riddles. “We’d build them as if they were an actual animal,” Nordby says of his team at the Moving Picture Company, a visual effects company. They created detailed skeletal and muscle systems for each Pokémon, visited zoos and consulted animal experts in order to have a reference point for every beak, tail or paw. The waddling four-legged Bulbasaur, for example, was based on a baby bulldog in its playfulness and top-heaviness. Pikachu started off very rabbit-like, but eventually became a cumulative creature inspired by the movements of marsupials and marmosets and the moonlike eyes of sugar gliders."

FMX 2019: Recap

VFX Supervisors Max Wood and Patrick Ledda presented at this year's FMX!

MPC had two VFX Supervisors speak at FMX 2019, a conference on animation, effects, games and immersive media held in Stuggart, Germany.

Max Wood (Overall VFX Supervisor for The Nutcracker) spoke on a panel alongside ncam and Mackevision titled The VFX for Nutcracker with on-set realtime camera tracking. The talk focused on MPC's fantastic visual effects and how ncam increased the efficiency of the production on-set, with realtime camera tracking technology.

Patrick Ledda (VFX Supervisor for Dumbo) presented "How MPC made an Elephant Fly for Disney's "Dumbo" to a packed audience who queued for his talk.

Huge thanks to both Max and Patrick for attending this year!

Little White Lies: Designing Dumbo

How VFX brought Tim Burton’s elephant to life

MPC's VFX Supervisor Richard Stammers spoke to Little White Lies, a leading UK film magazine for their video series 'Credit Role' in which they speak to industry professionals about their roles on major films.

They discussed Richard's role as a VFX Supervisor and MPC's work for Dumbo.

Watch below!