Berk's Grapevine

Latest Dragons

Deleted Hiccup Scene, Reference Shots

Check out this amazing presentation that shows a new Hiccup scene, reference shots used to created moments in the final film, and a demonstration of Premo! Check out the shot progression at the end of the presentation which shows how storyboarding, rough layout, reference shots, and motion capture fit into creating a shot in the film!

Thanks, haddockofberk!

Be a Dragon T-Shirt Guest Judge

If you aren't a t-shirt designer, you can still participate in the WeLoveFine dragons t-shirt contest announced earlier this month by being a guest judge! If you retweet, reblog, or share WeLoveFine's contests posts, you will be automatically entered to be the fan judge.

Twitter     Tumblr     Facebook
(try sharing all three if you really want to be the judge)

There are also only 11 more days to submit your t-shirt designs! After July 29, you will still be able to rate designs submitted by other people. Good luck to all Grapeviners who entered!

Hiccup Introduces Apollo, New Animation Software

Here's a behind the scenes look at DreamWorks' new animation software, Apollo. Shown in the video are Torch, a brand new lighting tool (not the dragon), and Premo, an animation tool that allows animators to manipulate characters more easily on the screen using a tablet pen rather than entering numbers.

The new software is unlike anything else out there. I was very lucky to be able to see this software in action, and it really is amazing. The interface is much simpler and more intelligent than any other animation software I've used, and combined with the extremely powerful computers used on the film, it must make animating dragons pretty fun.

Interview: Concept Artist Nicolas Weis

Check out this amazing interview and dragon concept art collection from Nicolas Weis! In the interview, he talks about working with Pierre-Olivier Vincent and what it was like building off the designs of the first film.

Unlike The Croods, Dragons 2 was a production oriented more on the "mechanical," whether it be war machines or for all new buildings and other stools or accessories invented by the local Leonardo da Vinci, Hiccup.

It was really a pleasure to imagine relatively seriously how to integrate enomrous flying reptiles into a human population and to cater to their needs and to their daily interactions with the Vikings. I began by making a list of all daily activities, not at all glamorous or heroic, with which had to engage a dragon when we rode. 

He also designed war machines and dragon traps used by Drago's army in the second part of the film:

Originally Drago's army was divided into several factions who each had their "style" of combat. Some used sharp projectiles, some incapacitated, and others used nets. So I did a lot of research on the technique of military siege across time and cultures, then I started to sketch, make very simple 3D models, then further drawings to explain the concept before moving on to the final painting in Photoshop.

You can read the full interview on (English translation)!

Video: The Sound of Dragons

Here's an interview with Dean DeBlois and sound designer Randy Thom about what it took to create the sounds of the dragons in How to Train Your Dragon 2!

With its diversity of dragons, How to Train Your Dragon 2 has a lot of opportunities for great sound momenents. Sometimes, getting a sound that matches a dragon requires recording and mixing real-life animals. Other times, it requires Randy Thom.

Thanks, Aty S Behsam!