Special effects boost new Warner film


When animators on a new Hollywood feature film wanted to push the barriers of what was possible, they looked to a Cambridge company for help.

Warner Brothers' new film, Osmosis Jones, features a unique mix of traditional animation, computer-generated 3D images and live action.

Set inside the body of a construction worker it centres on the efforts of blood cell cop, Osmosis Jones, to save him from a deadly new virus.

But with so many different techniques used to make the film there were problems keeping the colours of characters and backgrounds the same in scenes created using pen and ink and those generated using a variety of different computer software packages.

Enter Cambridge Animation Systems with their Animo software package.

Animo's mind-boggling palette of 281 trillion colours and its other custom-built compositing tools allows for a seamless blending of two and three dimensional animation.

The result is a film which switches effortlessly from scene to scene through an inner space of vibrant and breathtaking landscapes.

Will Bilton, a digital specialist at Warner Bros, said: 'Animo offers a wide range of compositing tools, providing close control over camera mechanics, special effects and colour styling. In addition it allowed us to make drastic changes during the flow of production.

'This versatility was a key element in the making of the film.'

Cambridge Animation Systems was founded by Cambridge students in 1991. Its clients include Dreamworks, Loonland, Nelvana and Warner Brothers.