DreamWorks Animation producer Jane Hartwell and senior VFX supervisor Markus Manninen explained how new production processes are empowering the vision of the director, in a session on ‘The Future of Animation’ at the Cinematic Innovation Summit (CIS) in Dubai yesterday.

New techniques such as real-time 3D animation – where sequences of animated movies are shot in real time using motion capture – are resulting in shorter production schedules, lower costs and greater collaboration between department heads. This in turn gives the director more control over the film.

“The natural inclination for department heads is to focus on the stage that they are involved in, rather than the overall vision of the film,” Hartwell explained, following a demonstration of the technology used in animated blockbuster The Croods.

She added that when shooting real-time animation, lighting artists and animators work under the supervision of the director, which makes it a collaborative process instead of a review-based one.

“Animation is not a genre but a technique where the design and stylistic choices are completely driven by the director¹s vision,” Manninen said. “The story inspires technological innovation and not the other way round.”