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The animators of Hotel Transylvania 2 were not happy using a computer software program so they expanded the possibilities by streamlining a way clothes and the hair of the character’s were the correct proportions. If this is not correct and constant, the software doesn’t know what to do. A pretty arduous task.

Frame-by-frame VFX supervisor Karl Herbst and his staff had to sculpt basic motions to make sure everything is more fluid, and consistent. Pushing the characters into shapes no one has seen before, takes not only physics into account, but paves the way for other animators to push boundaries. Herbst knew that director Genndy Tartakovsky doesn’t like seeing the same thing twice, so the project became special, and challenging.

“The biggest challenge for us was allowing Genndy to go further–pushing the physics of the characters, and how to absorb this down the pipeline. Most of our software is designed around physics.”

When you have character’s head change sides within shots, it causes problems with with hair simulation, but even with rendering algorithms fall apart because some of them are based on the volume of the head (surface scattering), he shared. When this changes, you get a slightly different look, and it needs to be constantly compensated.hotel-transylvania-2-HT2-PK-02_[HTR2_fly120

Herbst, who has an impressive resume with films like The Smurfs, Edge of Tomorrow, Monster House, and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, said the lighting aspect of the film was something he was really proud of. This was stepped up from the first film with production designer Mike Kurinsky’s doing color keys. Additionally, there was a cloth team, and a development group and a staff of 400 animators to create Hotel Transylvania 2.

“It really comes down to collaboration, and confidence in your team, and to be able to do this at this pace,” said Herbst regarding the quick turnaround for the film. “Luckily I had that.”

Hotel Transylvania 2 opens today.

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