MADRID — Blue and Malone Impossible Cases is a short film based on fantasy and hybrid technology that mixes 3D animation with live action. The short stars Aura Garrido as Berta, a young, stressed out journalist trying to deal with the responsibilities of the adult world. She visits an old theater where her grandmother worked the night before it is to be demolished and discovers that it is not entirely abandoned.
Mortando Malone (Álex O ́Dogherty) and Big Blue Cat (José Luis García Pérez), Berta’s old imaginary friends, turn her world upside down trying to help her solve an impossible case: how to recover her desire to dream.
From the beginning, Blue and Malone Impossible Cases was intended to be a high-quality production developed by a medium-sized production company with limited resources - Esdip Animation Studio (esdipanimation.com). The challenge was to create a world where live action would be treated almost like animation, while 3D animated characters and scenes would look like live action that had been filmed. The ultimate aim was to create a single ambiance or universe that was midway between reality and fantasy.
To achieve this, the production used Simple Cloud, a cloud-based technology to convert its pipeline, extend access to resources, and remove barriers in a secure, but exible way. The team also used 3D scanning processes, photogrammetry and 3D reconstruction techniques, as well as traditional methods, such as life-size puppets and dummies to help the actors and crew members work with the animated characters.
They also produced layouts that started out as live action and ended up as 3D environments, with full interaction between the real actress and the animated characters.
Approximately two years were spent in preproduction, working with a powerful 3D preview of the set while simultaneously developing and styling the characters, working on animation and, designing and modeling the two full 3D scenes used in the short.
Software was used to simulate special effects and to create and simulate skin and fabric, as well as for camera tracking, interactive chroma filming, robotic cameras and 3D environments. Arnold, Maya, Blender, Yeti, Nuke, Substance and Mari were some of the tools used in the production.
In total, 200 people worked on the project over four years. This team included 2D and 3D animators, concept artists, modelers, riggers, matte painters, shading artists, TDs, lighting designers, compositors, prop technicians and live action art directors, sculptors, camera operators, focus pullers, gaffers and 3D production and live action departments.
By using the Simple Cloud solution, the team was able to work remotely in a collaborative environment with different types of artists from any part of the world.