MdSimulation

Aladdin making of – Shot13

The Aladdin movie consists of over 20 shots.
In this article we decided to focus on the process it took to create 1 shot from beginning to end.
The process consists of 3 stages:
Pre-production – this is the planning stage.
Production – this is the main stage where most of the work is done.
Post-production – this is the editing stage, when all the work is rendered out and requires the final touch.

We wanted to take our time with the planning stage so we make sure we get the most out of each shot and have no continuity problems.  

Pre-production

Idea sketching
we started by roughly throwing down on paper all the cool ideas we would love to include in the movie.

Draft storyboard 
at this stage we started thinking about the flow of the story so it has a beginning and an end, and that what happens between them has a natural flow while including as many of the ideas we had as possible.

Script 
This is where we started finalizing the story and broke it down to what happens in each shot.

Final Storyboard
at the end of the pre-production stage we made a big storyboard that helped us make sure that we progress according to plan throughout the rest of the stages.

production

Modeling & Texturing 
Shot 13, like many of the treasure cave shots, consists of coins, mountains of coins! we quickly realized that the best way to approach making them would be to create simple "mountain meshes" with textures that give the illusion of 3D coins. for objects that were close to the camera we also scattered coin meshes that blended seamlessly into the texture to give a real illusion of depth to the mesh.

Animation 
The animation in the cave scenes was fairly simple – it consists of the green object's movement, the camera's movement and secondary object movement. For the green object, we created a special particle effect that would always leave a nice complex trail. since the secondary objects were usually stuck inside a pile of coins, we made them affect their surrounding coins when they fly out. We did some of that animation by hand and in other cases we run a simulation for the physics.

Lighting 
we quickly found that controlling the look of scenes that are made mostly of gold can be quite challenging. that is why we developed a special technique in which we rendered several different passes of lights that would give us good control on the balancing between the diffuse and reflective look in the compositing stage.

Rendering
we wanted to have as much control as possible over the look of shots in the compositing stage, that us why many different passes were rendered for each shot. We wanted the cave to have a real atmospheric feeling so we also rendered a lot of "extra detail" passes such as dust, gold shimmer, fog, smoke etc'.

Post-production

Compositing & VFX
This is the stage where we took all the work that was done at the rendering stage and made the final color corrections and adjustments for the final frame. we really wanted to bring the detail level to the maximum so after all the tweaking, each shot ended up consisting of dozens of layers, some shots had over 100 layers.

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