The Disney animated short Paperman is up for an Oscar this year. The technique used to produce it is a combination of hand-drawn art and computer animation, giving it the feel of a classic Disney film.
Paperman‘s seemingly seamless way of blending the personality of hand-drawn animation with CGI in the physical space of the story is the result of new in-house software called Meander, a vector-based drawing program that allows for manipulation of the line after the fact — something that Kahrs described as “just like painting on the surface of the CG.”
In practice, it successfully blends the best of both forms of animation together in way they’ve never been seen before. Depicting George and Meg as flat, drawn characters keeps them safely out of the uncanny valley that even the best CGI sometimes can’t avoid and somehow makes them seem more real; other sequences, like the multiple paper airplanes zooming through the air, would be far less convincing and far more time-consuming if rendered without the help of computer generated imagery.
The plot? Boy meets girl, of course.