On November 11, Veterans Day in the United States, after two years of development and an additional 20 months of production, Trioscope Studios’ gripping WWII animated drama The liberator created on Netflix. The animated four-part mini-series is based on the true story of WWII infantry commander Felix “Shotgun” Sparks, who led the 157th Infantry Battalion of the 45th Division, an integrated unit of the Oklahoma National Guard made up of white cowboys, Mexican Americans and Native Soldiers (over 52 tribes) from across the west.
Written by Jeb Stuart (Die hard, the fugitive), directed by Greg Jonkajtys (City of sin, Pan’s Labyrinth, The ghost) and produced by A&E Studios, Unique Features and Trioscope for Netflix, the project was the first ever produced in Trioscope Enhanced Hybrid Animation (Trioscope EHA), a new patent-pending technology combining cutting-edge CGI with live action performance , designed to bring an unprecedented level of emotion and fidelity to the experience of animated drama. Jonkajtys developed the Trioscope technology with its partners LC Crowley and Brandon Barr. Crowley and Barr are the producers of the series.
Trioscope EHA was developed and used by Polish studio VFX Juice to create an unprecedented style of hybrid CGI animation. Technology has brought a photoreal level of emotion to human faces and detail to the movement and action of the characters. It achieved a vivid 3D graphic novel look by mixing 3D CGI painted environments, live action footage, and traditional 2D animation. The result, according to the filmmakers, are stories “of limitless scope and imagination, delivering all the escape of CGI blockbusters and all the emotional resonance of big-budget drama at a fraction of the cost.”
Now we have the chance to go behind the scenes of the critically acclaimed series, meet some of the artists behind the projects, and see their workflow from live action to animation. The featurette highlights some of the more interesting things the Juice team explored during production. MichaÅ MisiÅski (2nd Unit Director and Artistic Director) Katarzyna Jarzyna (VFX Producer) and Marko Zaric (VFX Supervisor) share their views while accompanying viewers through the production process.
Take a few minutes to enjoy Behind the scenes of The Liberator:
You should also check out Juice’s detailed description of the production on their website.
MisiÅski and Jonkajtys met by chance in 2015. âI met Grzegorz Jonkajtys in 2015 at the Trojan Horse was a Unicorn Festival, where I was artistic director, and a year later he called me with the idea of a series, âsays MisiÅski. . âAt the time, I didn’t even expect the random encounter of the creative festival in Portugal to suddenly lead to the production of the 4-episode series for Netflix, developing the new technology that allows us to keep what is the most important – the emotions – in CG animation.
Dan Sarto is publisher and editor-in-chief of Animation World Network.