Many fans of sci-fi and fantasy have been tracking the progress of the $50 million CG feature, Robota, since director Doug Chiang’s concept art for the film appeared as an illustrated book published by Chronicle Books. Two animated trailers have surfaced since then and another has just hit the web.
Set in a futuristic world controlled by machines, Robota will incorporate regular 3-D animation and rotomotion techniques to place animated creatures humans in fully digital environments. The new trailer shows a real actor battling androids that resemble Massai warriors.
Excitement for Robota intensified in February of last year when a clip earned French animation studio Sparx a Best Rendering Award during the 20th annual international computer graphics competition segment of the Imagina.03 conference in Monte Carlo.
Chiang, who served as art department head and design director for Star Wars – Episode I: The Phantom Menace and Star Wars – Episode II: Attack of the Clones, just completed work on Robert Zemeckis’ computer-animated holiday feature The Polar Express. Chronicle Books will release The Art of the Polar Express this fall. Chiang is also working with Sony Pictures Imageworks to produce a Robota video game scheduled to hit retail sometime in 2006.
At last reporting, Sparx was in discussion with two major French production companies interested in funding the film. Sparx also indicated that several Hollywood studios showed interest but noted that primary funding would be sought in Europe.
According to Chiang’s web site, www.dchiang.com, a fourth trailer is near completion at Attitude Studio in France and should be ready for viewing soon. Until then, you can watch the latest teaser at www.apple.com/trailers/independent/dc_studio/robota.