Learn how VFX company ReDefine produced 1,700 shots to create recognizable and original characters for “Rally Road Racers.”

Learn how VFX company ReDefine produced 1,700 shots to create recognizable and original characters for “Rally Road Racers.”

You’ll immediately be reminded of Pixar’s Cars film series after seeing the feature film Rally Road Racers. However, you immediately notice the former’s distinctive appearance and fashion. ReDefine, a VFX firm, is responsible for this originality.

Rally Road Racers, which will be released in May 2023, is about a young racing car driver who gets the chance to go up against the current champion. To show he has what it takes, he must conquer hazardous terrain, competitive racers, and unforeseen challenges with the aid of a previous driver.

Making an animated racing movie that stands out as a distinct offering in a market where the Cars series has been ingrained in people’s minds for years is no simple challenge. Ross Venokur, the director of Rally Road Racers, gave the task to ReDefine VFX supervisors John Harvey and Alexei Nechytaylo.

From the beginning of the project, Ross Venokur’s aim to produce a distinct aesthetic that wasn’t a ripoff of works from other companies was something Harvey said.

In order to always be culturally aware, the supervisors paid great attention to the subtleties of other cultures. According to Harvey, “this produced a movie that balanced the outrageous and exciting car chases with real Chinese culture and settings that Alexei knew well from his time spent living and working in China.”

Nechytaylo stated, “I truly wanted to produce a film that doesn’t follow the worn-out road of Asian clich├ęs and shows the actual tale of modern China instead. I admire the beautiful culture and people of China. The vibrant, fast-paced modern metropolis and the serene, traditional village life are the two opposing ideals of the nation that I wanted to depict. I chose the locales that I adore the most. The Yunnan highlands, one of the remaining strongholds of traditional lifestyles, and Shanghai, the epitome of globalism and modernization.

However, consideration was given to more than simply Chinese culture. In the movie, several more countries are shown. Ross really liked our very early 2D animated character testing, Harvey said. Later on during the shot creation, these were employed as a reference for character motions.

Nechytaylo stated of the attention to detail that went into character and vehicle design, “The characters, above all, have to be engaging and new. Due to the large number of characters, character creation took around a year and involved several revisions for each. When we created the characters in computer graphics, an extra difficulty was maintaining the humor and lightheartedness. The character design is frequently diluted and perhaps destroyed throughout this difficult procedure.

Vehicles and the races themselves play a big part in the movie because it’s about racing. Nechytaylo therefore treated the cars as personalities as well. He noted that all of the cars have to be entertaining to look at and have a humorous element.

Early on, the ReDefine team realized that the film’s boarding race portions would not be innovative enough for the process. They kept the boarding straightforward, and previs/layout, where actual cameras and volume could be used, was where the dynamic and inventive work on the pursuit action sequences was accomplished.

Nechytaylo went on to say, “I used color as the film’s mainstay. According to me, the show needed to seem lively and colorful, but it also needed to be done tastefully. The majority of the time, gaudy animated movies are a visual cacophony, with all the colors shouting as loudly as they can. We took the other route, and each frame’s color palette was meticulously chosen.

The supervisors said that ReDefine made sure each sequence had a “signature lighting and color recipe.” Maintaining that uniformity throughout required careful planning at the outset of the lighting process.

Nechytaylo went on to say, “I used color as the film’s mainstay. According to me, the show needed to seem lively and colorful, but it also needed to be done tastefully. The majority of the time, gaudy animated movies are a visual cacophony, with all the colors shouting as loudly as they can. We took the other route, and each frame’s color palette was meticulously chosen.

The supervisors said that ReDefine made sure each sequence had a “signature lighting and color recipe.” Maintaining that uniformity throughout required careful planning at the outset of the lighting process.

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