Who Framed Roger Rabbit? is one film responsible for inspiring a whole generation of animators. This is very much the case in the UK particularly, and largely because of the massive contribution from one very talented Brit, Richard Williams, and his team at Elstree Studios. And so, when I came across this posting on io9.com, I felt I should share the little nostalgic nugget with you all.
This is an early pencil test that illustrates a proto-form of both Jessica and Rodger Rabbit. The article comments on the pretty challenge that faced the animators when first approaching the job. Williams was known for his own unique drawing style, but for this production he was taking his direction from Robert Zemeckis. As mentioned, it was their intent to develop characters who would stand up to the Disney and Warner Bros characters, popular with audiences the world over.
And lets not forget, this was a massive compositing job as well. The effects team at Industrial Light and Magic (ILM) were responsible for the final compositing of live-action and animation, supervised by the legendary Ken Ralston. It was here that they created three-dimensional shading on the cartoon characters, using hand-drawn shadow mattes. These effects were created optically, which in the days before CG was the process that managed some very effective results.
Although todays technologies could accelerate the production process considerably, I like to think that the film would still emerge with a very similar style and feel; a timeless quality that for many of us never fails to entertain.