In Raycast any development process starts as simple as possible: pencil, paper and a good idea. These traditional tools allow us to streamline communication and share the vision we have to experience on a practical level how much does one idea works. That is how we developed the concept and determined the resources required to tell the story of 3 to the Rescue.
PLANNING & DESIGN
Once the script was ready and revised, we conceptualize the visual style of the world where our story unfolds and where our characters live. We knew we had limited resources to tell our story, in terms of personnel, technological and financial resources; so we decided to conduct a production design tailored to the resources we had, but at the same time show some flashes of what could be achieved in a better condition.
Each element that forms the visual narrative was designed and created. Nothing appears randomly on the screen, but only after having exhausted a process of planning and design. This process is cyclical until the artistic requirements are met and once approved become implemented.
A meticulous and rigorous process of voice casting was conducted, searching for actors that contribute most to the profiles of the characters we had in the script. José Guillermo Cortines (Casting Director, vocals) and Kenny Grullón (Voice assistance) played a major role in the selection of the cast that finally gave life to the characters of 3 to the Rescue..
DEVELOPMENT & PRODUCTION
After the story and concept art are finalized, we compile an animatic. This allow us to ensure the dialogue and overall pace of the sequences flow as it should, making the necessary corrections and adjustments before we start the full production.
Our art team, led by Edwin Gautreau, created the characters, sets and props always with the design requirements in mind of maintaining a single, but dynamic and colorful style to serve as a conduit to tell our story, yet easily immerse the viewer in the fable. The 3D models were developed simple yet attractive and full of life according to their personalities.
Luis Morillo, Technical Director, provided the animation and modeling team with the tools streamlined to speed the processes and automate tasks that would have been simply impossible to do for such a small crew as we had at that time.
The implementation phase began after the crew received the objects created by the art department, then they proceeded to assemble each of the shots. Simultaneously, the animation team was working with the synchronization of voice and facial expressions of each character.
One of the most relevant advices we received was to first start producing the shots with more action and less dialogue, as it requires a considerable amount of work to compile a few seconds of action in sequence. As soon as a shot was approved it was sent to render, that way at least half of the production of that week, was ready for review next week.
We were engaged in production for a period of 7 months, when we had 108.000 (75 minutes of final production) rendered images, we got a chance to see A Christmas Carol, the latest stereoscopic 3D production released at that time in the theaters. We were so impressed, that we immediately thought we could add that innovative element to 3 to the Rescue and contribute to the expertise of our production team. A couple of months later we had developed the necessary tools and made a 5 minute test animation in stereoscopic 3D. It was a process that was both fun and intense, because we had to produce virtually the entire movie a second time, but from the perspective of another “eye”.
ANIMATION FILM IS BORN IN DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
3 to the Rescue arrived in theaters on January 6, 2011, with very good acceptance of both public and critics. This production has been a very positive experience, not only because it opens a new chapter in local cinema (First animated film in D.R. and first movie in stereoscopic 3D in Latin America), but because it also shows that when working together, things that seem unreachable, can be achieved. And this is made possible, because we are a team passionate about digital art and committed to overcome current limitations, raising the standard in every project we undertake.
The experience and know-how that we acquired at the end of this production are, to say the least, invaluable. We are now making way for new projects with a clearer view of the local film market, innovating in what we can offer and creating new kinds of products designed to meet the collective desire of new and improved entertainment experiences for the public.