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TV has used rotoscope animation before, but never has it been used in every scene of an ongoing series — until now. Amazon’s upcoming half-hour drama/sci-fi/comedy hybrid “Undone” screened its first two episodes at Comic-Con Thursday afternoon, wowing a large crowd with the trippy story of a young woman investigating her past to solve the mystery of her father’s death.
Star Rosa Salazar took part in a panel discussion following the screening, alongside co-creators and executive producers Kate Purdy and Raphael Bob-Waksberg, and the “Alita: Battle Angel” actress said she “immediately connected” to the story — before she was even told her performance would go through rotoscope animation.
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“I went in to audition for something else, and [casting director Linda Lamontagne] was like, ‘Yeah, yeah, yeah, great, great great’ and she opened a secret drawer in her desk and said, ‘This is why I brought you here,’” Salazar said. “She’s like, ‘OK, read it,’ and I sat there and read the whole first two episodes — she wouldn’t let me take it anywhere — and then she said, ‘OK, now we’re going to put you on tape for it.'”
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Though the creators knew at that point they wanted to use the advanced animation technique, where animators sketch colors and textures over each frame of recorded video, it wasn’t until their director, Hisko Hulsing, suggested it that they decided to make the leap.
“He had worked with [producer] Tommy Pallotta, who worked on ‘A Scanner Darkly’ and ‘Waking Life’ with Richard Linklater, and had a good collaboration with him,” Purdy said. “Hisko said, ‘I loved working with Tommy and I love doing rotoscoping because you can get all the micro-expressions.’ And there’s so much emotion in this, we didn’t...
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