When the Disney short ‘Paperman’ came out last year I watched it and thought it looked great, but not until now have I investigated how it was made.

Fascinatingly they created it in full 3D cgi animation and then hand drew the lines back over it to give it a real feel, harking back to Disney’s heyday.

I couldn’t put my finger on  the visual look at the time, but watching the behind the scenes films (below) meant I understood the process fully, some comments at the bottom of the youtube page question why they went to the trouble of CGI if they were just going to draw over the top, but it wouldn’t have the same effect, the 3D makes all of the shadows and perspective motion perfect, whilst the handdrawn lines seem to reduce the perfection of the 3D over the top, whilst adding lovely pencil texture, it’s a beautiful combination.

This link shows how they combined the cgi with the hand drawn.

Full film on The Movie Blog.


Introducing a groundbreaking technique that seamlessly merges computer-generated and hand-drawn animation techniques, first-time director John Kahrs takes the art of animation in a bold new direction with the Oscar®-nominated short, “Paperman.” Using a minimalist black-and-white style, the short follows the story of a lonely young man in mid-century New York City, whose destiny takes an unexpected turn after a chance meeting with a beautiful woman on his morning commute. Convinced the girl of his dreams is gone forever, he gets a second chance when he spots her in a skyscraper window across the avenue from his office. With only his heart, imagination and a stack of papers to get her attention, his efforts are no match for what the fates have in store for him. Created by a small, innovative team working at Walt Disney Animation Studios, “Paperman” pushes the animation medium in an exciting new direction. (from The Movie Blog)

Behind the scenes – the drawings, fascinating snippet clips of original hand drawn Peter Pan

The Look, making a believable immersive world to tell the story.

The idea