Mar 31, 2012

Mitch Paulson on the Creative Challenges of "John Carter"

The director, Andrew Stanton, had a good idea of how he wanted Barsoom to look so you didn't feel like you were on earth anymore. I worked closely with the color consultant, Sharon Calahan, and we came up with different directions to present to Andrew, ultimately establishing a dry, hot and dusty look.  The blue skies of Barsoom posed a challenge as well. Anytime we were on Barsoom, we never had overly saturated blue skies. We did a lot of work to pull out the blue, again, so it didn't feel like we were on Earth.

Adjusting the Thark characters’ green color was also a challenge. They originally varied quite a bit in hue and saturation. We utilized a lot of mattes provided from the VFX vendors to isolate each character and create a more consistent look. We also did a lot of work to separate the skin tones. The people of Barsoom had red skin, John Carter had a more natural skin tone. A lot of the time, the red skin color didn't read too well. We had to select the skin separately and make it more red and we had to cool down John's skin at the same time. In some of the exterior scenes he was getting more tanned from being out in the sun all day and needed to look cooler than the people of Barsoom. This was a challenge throughout the whole film.


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