Tweaking the Tweedles

Movies - 09 February 2010 3:00 PM | Updated 22 February 2010

Tweaking the Tweedles

It won't be long before Tim Burton's much-anticipated take on Lewis Carroll's beloved classic Alice in Wonderland hits the big screens in Singapore.

In the lead-up to the film's 4 March release, brings you a weekly series of sneak peeks at the film, including character progression images, movie stills, concept art and 'micropod' teaser clips.

Faster than you can tweedle, I mean, twiddle your thumbs, go ahead and join the party! 

To start the shot of the Tweedles in the Red Queen's throne room, Matt Lucas (on the left) is photographed on the green-screen stage wearing the "Tweedle suit," designed to simulate the characters' body shapes and movements.  While the Tweedles' bodies are ultimately animated, Lucas' actual movements are captured on film and used as a basis.

The Tweedles and monkeys are placed in the layout of the Red Queen's throne room.  Lucas' facial performances float above the animated character for matching.  For the effect to be seamless, the animation has to be very precise.

Sony Imageworks artists add realism, by creating movement in the clothing, suspenders and soft bellies and faces.

The final composite shows Lucas' colour-corrected facial performances perfectly aligned with the computer-generated head.  The lighting, reflections, shadows and surface texture all combine to produce vivid characters in a fully-realised world.


Lucas and his double switch places and film the same scene, capturing Lucas in the opposite role.

Layout of the Underland garden is combined with the character animation for the Tweedles, the White Rabbit and the Dodo, with photography of Lucas' facial performances floating above the Tweedles to serve as reference for animation matching.

Feathers and hair of the furred characters -- along with movement of clothing and jiggling of the facial and belly fat -- are realised.

Here is the final composite of all elements -- animation, layout, surfacing, lighting, matte background -- with Lucas' colour corrected facial performances integrated and "tracked-in" to the computer generated heads of the Tweedles.


To view more images from Alice in Wonderland, click here.

All images courtesy of Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.