Interview with Chris Nichols
Interview with Chris Nichols of Digital Domain
(Lighting Lead on TRON Legacy) By Jeff Mottle
CGarchitect Spoke with Chris Nichols (http://www.redeyetales.com), Lighting Lead at Digital Domain on TRON:Legacy.
Chris' background is in architecture although he has been working in the VFX field for a number of years. Movies in his credit include I, Robot, The Day After Tomorrow, Stealth and Ghost Rider.
CGA: Did you guys work on any of the architecture at all in those shots?
Chris Nichols: Well no, not directly. So basically Disney had an art department as you probably know, who does a lot of the design work. But especially for me, the most unique part of it was that we actually worked very closely with the art department, to the point where they were actually within Digital Domain; working directly with the artists and collaborating directly with the artists, which I've never seen that happen to that level.And the designers actually worked in CG as well, which usually we get mostly drawing, hand-drawing, stuff of that nature. But they actually worked with real models, and there was actual exchange of data between art department and Digital Domain more than I've ever seen.
CGA: Yeah, Joe (Director of Tron: Legacy) had mentioned that there was a lot of actual scale models that were done for this. Did you guys get your hands on those at all?
Chris Nichols: The physical models?
Chris Nichols: Well, we had a couple things here. We had some helmets here and a couple other things like that, but the light bike itself – no, we didn't have the light bike or anything of that nature. But I think usually props, sometimes we get access to props. Props are usually things that are handled by an actor, so a helmet, disc, things of that nature; baton, sometimes we'll get those. But physical models, I think they did build a full-scale light bike, for the publicity thing.
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