On the afternoon of December 22, 2016 (Thursday), Xu Ning, graduate of Beijing Film Academy brought the preview of "KUBO AND THE TWO STRINGS" at the standard video hall of Beijing Film Academy and shared their production experience in Hollywood of United States.
Xu Ning, bachelor of animation art of Beijing Film Academy (2007-2011), master of animation and digital art, Department of Film Arts, University of Southern California, interned with Starburns Studio and participated in the production ofAnomalisa, joined LAIKA in 2015 and participated inKubo and the Two Stringsas an animator, he was a Chinese animator of LAIKA, a fixed-frame animation studio.
Xu Ning mentioned that the four movies LAIKA produced were committed to being the most sophisticated freeze-frame animation, and showed the photos of KUBO staff and characters of the four films.
Then, Xu Ning showed us the details of dolls, clothes prototypes and photos of the interior of KUBO heads, he also made a detailed explanation, e.g. the hair was made of chemical fiber and real animal hair, socks were the thinnest layer of cotton; clothes were scaled down in accordance with the proportion and made with cardboards, and a series of material testing was made; the head was 3D printed with resin and the 3D prototype was made with computer software.
Xu Ning also showed us the dolls, material display panels, skulls, garden eyes and made a detailed introduction, the material of each character was not the same, kimonos were processed in detail to create a sense of decorous feeling, and many funny devices were developed in the production. Xu Ning played the "LAIKA 10th Anniversary Advertising Video", and detailed the relevant content on the simple shooting table of the animator.
Then Xu Ning played a video titled "how an animator works every day" and introduced the information on LAIKA schedule board. Xu Ning mentioned that in LAIKA, the best, or the fastest speed was 2 seconds / day, for the key part, the speed could even be 1 second / 2-3 days. Xu Ning also talked about the concepts of LAIKA on the production of fixed-frame animations. Xu Ning also introduced the animators skilled in acrobatic fighting actions and ultimate actions and those proficient in delicate actions and expression of emotions (according to Xu Ning, the director of the animation was the best). Xu Ning said that he was relatively good at following up actions and soft actions, he explained the footages of sails, fish and the moon king monster, he also showed at site how the fish was captured.
Later, Xu Ning also explained some of the details of the production scene and the combination of fixed-frame animation and 3D CG, told his experience of encountering Travis and studying in University of Southern California. The video titledAll Technologies used in LAIKA, he introduced the animators responsible for skulls, faces and his boss Travis, one of the best fixed-frame animators in the world.