Monster House (film)
Monster House is a 2006 American computer animated fantasy film, released on July 21, 2006 produced by ImageMovers and Amblin Entertainment, and distributed by Columbia Pictures. Executive produced by Robert Zemeckis and Steven Spielberg, this is the first time since Back to the Future Part III.
- We're dead. [to DJ] You've killed us, and now we're dead!
- Are you guys mentally challenged? Because if you are, then I'm certified to teach you baseball.
- Skull: Calm down! You make me want to throw up in some tin foil and eat it!
- [from the trailer]
- Mom: We'll be back tomorrow night. Oh, if anything happens, call the police and hide in your closet.
- Dad: He knows that.
- Jenny: There!
- [waves flashlight at chandelier]
- Jenny: Well, if those are his teeth, and that's the tongue, then that must be the uvula!
- Chowder: Oh, so it's a girl house...
- Jenny: [looks at him] What?
- DJ: I'm a murderer.
- Chowder: No your not. When it's an accident, they call it manslaughter.
- Mr. Nebbercracker: [to Eliza] GET OFF MY LAWN!
- [Eliza shrieks in horror as she helplessly tries to get her trike off the lawn]
- Nebbercracker: Arrrrgh, trespasser!!! Do you want to be eaten alive???
- Eliza: No.
- Nebbercracker: THEN GET OUT OF HERE!!!
- [Eliza shrieks and runs away from him, but forgets her trike in the process.]
- Eliza: My trike.
- [Nebbercracker angrily takes the wheels off her trike and sets them on fire, roaring menacingly. Eliza runs away, sobbing, never to be seen again.]
- Nebbercracker: AND STAY OUT OF MY HOUSE!!
About Monster House (film)
- T. Dan Hofstedt: The modeling and rigging team created a fantastic rig, says co-animation supervisor T. Dan Hofstedt. It had to have that flexibility to appear normal in its at-rest default pose, but it also had to be able to expand and rip and shred into this horrific beast. Actually, there were about 20 different rigs within the House rig, with a total of around 40,000 animatable controls for everything that moved on the house.
- Jay Red: We had to build an incredibly robust character because the story demanded it. We mapped out where every board would break, how they would break, etc. Character rigging supervisor JJ Blumenkranz and his crew had to get all the right pieces moving in the just the right way. The texturing part of the house is also incredibly complex. Audiences may not notice right away, but the house breaks down over the course of the film. There are many, many layers of paint on the house, and this all had to be created in textures and shaders. It is one of the most complex characters I have ever been involved in creating!
- Our characters in Monster House are indeed human, but we always approached them as stylized almost as if they were puppets. If you look at their proportions, you will notice that the heads, eyes, hands, and feet are larger than they should be. Also, we didnt concern ourselves with moisture, eyelashes or even real hair. We started our character modeling by creating actual clay sculptures of each character. Once a sculpture was approved, it was laser-scanned in, and final clean-up and patching, costumes, etc. were created. The most interesting aspect here is that we avoided symmetry at all costs. So many people model one side of a character and then simply mirror and flip to get the other side, which is highly unnatural. Admittedly, modeling and rigging non-symmetrical characters is a lot more work for the crew, but the results are so much more interesting and subliminal.
- We had to build an incredibly robust character because the story demanded it. We mapped out where every board would break, how they would break, etc. Character rigging supervisor JJ Blumenkranz and his crew had to get all the right pieces moving in the just the right way. The texturing part of the house is also incredibly complex. Audiences may not notice right away, but the house breaks down over the course of the film. There are many, many layers of paint on the house, and this all had to be created in textures and shaders. It is one of the most complex characters I have ever been involved in creating!
- For the human characters, my estimate is that 75-90% of the body movement ended up being mocap, with 50-70% for the facial performances. The ratio was determined on a shot-by-shot basis. The eyes and the fingers were always keyframed, and since they are the most expressive parts of an animated performance, there was always a lot of input from the animators on each shot. Personally, I think there is always room to explore the what ifs of a shot, as long as it fits the intent of the story and the personality of the character. At times, the intensity and sincerity provided by the actors did not translate 100% accurately onto the animation rig, mostly due to the fact that it was not an attempt to replicate the actors features. So the animation team often went in on top of the facial mocap data to make the desired emotion read more strongly on screen. There were also some shots where, for various reasons, we needed to add something that wasnt captured on the live-action set. Whenever we were called upon to do keyframe animation, we strove to maintain a stylistic consistency in the way the characters moved. The motion capture process has a certain texture to the movement that is slightly different than most keyframed animation.
- Imageworks opted to build the facial animation controls on a two-tiered system. The first tier was based on a system that codes actors facial expressions into a library of poses based on the actions of certain muscle groups. The second tier was a proprietary keyframe tool called, Character Facial System, CFS. We developed a way to blend these two tiers into a very flexible interface, Hofstedt explains. It was theorized that the raw motion capture data on the actors faces could trigger isolated facial muscle groups in combinations to convey expressions of emotion on the animated characters. The actors made faces into the camera for many different poses (i.e., Inner Brow Raiser, Cheek Puffer, Nasolabial Furrow, Lip Tightener, etc), plus an additional set of phoneme poses. There was not a generic batch of shapes forced upon each character. Each individual actor made their version of the poses and the animation team interpreted what they did and applied it to the physics of the animation rig. The individuality of this process helped make each character unique. This interpretive process is especially what made our process on Monster House different from Polar Express. Our characters did not have to exactly match the likeness of any well-recognized performer.
- The chosen frame for each of the facial expression shapes performed by the actors on video was given to the animation team who used the CFS system to create the individual facial poses. These poses were saved and named under a custom naming convention devised by the facial integration team. After a full set of facial expression shapes and phoneme poses were created and stored, they were given back to the integration team to run the facial mocap data curves. In the early stages of testing the process, there was a lot of back and forth between the facial expression shapes team and the animation team. Sometimes, wed have to adjust the range of the actual shape we had created (i.e., making the Lip Stretcher pose narrower or wider as needed), or maybe the facial expression shapes team determined that they had to adjust the percentage of influence of any given shape (i.e., amp up the influence of the Brow Lowerer). These choices were built into the facial expression shapes poses that would be driven by the mocap data. Once we settled on the facial expression shapes pose library, and determined that we needed the flexibility to go even further, we could concentrate on ways to push the performances to a new level.
- We developed new rendering technology with Marcos Fajardo at Imageworks. The first day Gil Kenan and I met, back in Feb. 2004, we both talked about how much we loved stop-motion films, and how we wanted to make a movie that looked like it was shot on film, but using all the modern miraculous technology. So for me, light quality was an absolute key ingredient. The simplest thing to create reality in a CG image bounce light. Indirect colored diffusion. Its what makes a plastic dollhouse still look real. We mostly stayed away from ambient occlusion, because it doesnt incorporate color into its calculations. We chose our characters skin to look more like high-density foam or clay. We didnt want to introduce any materials that tried to feel like human skin or hair. Digital effects supervisor Seth Maury and I spent many weeks mapping out and testing sun color, shadow color, shadow length, etc. as this was all important to the passage of time in the film.
- There Goes The Neighborhood.
- This Summer......Cross Over to the Other Side........Of the Street.
- A living, breathing, nightmare of a house!
- Welcome to the Fun House!
- Three Kids. One House. It's Alive!
- Hide Your Children. This House Will Eat Them!
- The House is . . . ALIVE!
- It's up to them to save the neighbourhood
- Mitchel Musso - DJ Walters
- Sam Lerner - Charles "Chowder"
- Spencer Locke - Jenny Bennett
- Steve Buscemi - Horace Nebbercracker
- Maggie Gyllenhaal - Elizabeth "Zee"
- Catherine O'Hara - Mrs. Walters
- Fred Willard - Mr. Walters
- Jason Lee - Bones
- Jon Heder - Reginald "Skull" Skulinski
- Kevin James - Officer Landers
- Nick Cannon - Officer Lester
- Kathleen Turner - Constance