"Over the Moon" "Over the Moon"

Sony Pictures Imageworks, the Vancouver-based animation studio behind Netflix’s Over the Moon, has released three short making-of videos that touch on some of the unusual challenges posed by the feature.

The film is partly set on the dark side of the moon, which is imagined as a technicolor wonderland full of whimsical creatures and magic dust. Creating a plausible fantasy world means inventing many rules about how things within it look and behave. In a cg production like this one, scores of animators, modelers, rigging and texturing artists, and others besides help define these rules.

In one video, cg supervisor Clara Chan delves into the architecture of Lunaria, the film’s day-glo galactic city. She points out that its buildings constantly change profile as they turn, and that the structures gain in complexity the closer they are to the city’s center:

In another, Sacha Kapijimpanga, head of character animation, focuses on lunar deity Chang’e. He talks about the implications of her hugely complex outfits (which were designed by fashion star Guo Pei), and explains how her diva-like performance was shaped out of director Glen Keane’s instructions, as well as acting by staff and voice artists:

In the third video, vfx supervisor David Smith comments on the more nebulous aspects of Lunaria, explaining how the gloopy Lunarian creatures were rigged and revealing that some of the film’s effects were inspired by the Holi festival of colors:

Although it received mixed reviews, Over the Moon, which was produced by Netflix and Pearl Studio, has been widely praised for its character animation and effects. The film is currently up for three VES Awards (which are presented by the Visual Effects Society): best visual effects in an animated feature, best animated character in an animated feature (Chang’e), and best effects simulations in an animated feature. It is also nominated for best fx at the Annie Awards, one of its six nominations it has at that show.

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