Friday, October 5, 2007

Kettelhut's Matte Paintings and Drawings

Kettelhut’s matte paintings- or, more accurately matte drawings as the majority were 60 X 40 cm drawings done on heavy cardboard- were used frequently in the film to simulate the background, usually with models in the foreground. These drawings and paintings can be seen in the background cityscape shots of the city as well as in the lush backdrop for the Eternal Gardens scene. Amazingly, to create the effect of beams of light traveling over the pencil drawn buildings in the background, Kettelhut painstakingly erased millimeter by millimeter the same amount of pencil shading from one side onto the other. The picture would then be exposed and the process repeated frame by frame for the duration of the beam’s effect. This required roughly 1000 individual images- 25 for each second of the film. The same technique was used in the animated sequence at the beginning of the film with another drawing- the "city-mounds", showing daybreak pouring over the architectural features.

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