The highly anticipated sequel to Illumination Entertainment’s 2016 blockbuster, “The Secret Life of Pets 2,” directed by Chris Renaud and Jonathan del Val, explores a new chapter in the life of terrier Max, mutt Duke, and new and old friends alike. For his ninth project with Illumination, EFILM Colorist Jason Hanel continued the overall aesthetic of the original film, while helping to introduce the new locations, each with its own developed look and mood.
“One major difference from the last film is that images in ‘The Secret Life of Pets 2’ were designed for an HDR workflow,” Hanel explained. “I was able to take advantage of that extended latitude to increase details in scenes, especially the ones bathed in beautiful volumetric light. This is most notable in the characters’ fur, which appears more detailed and interesting in HDR.”
Hanel worked locally in Los Angeles with CG Supervisors David Pelle and Bruno Chauffard, Post Production Supervisor Jeannine Berger, Assistant Post Production Supervisor Eileen Godoy, and Stereoscopic Supervisor John Benson to set the looks. He began the color process early on, starting with individual promo trailers for each character.
“With each movie, we find ways to refine the color process and get the most out of the animation,” noted Hanel. “We used many of the techniques we developed and learned from ‘The Grinch’ last year and further improved them. Collaborating with the team at Illumination Entertainment was another fantastic experience. Many of us have worked together for years, and the grading process was very enjoyable.”
One scene that departs from the film’s colorful yet naturalistic aesthetic is a fantasy sequence with rabbit Snowball that features a traditional anime look. Hanel said, “The anime scene is a fun surprise with a bold use of color. Scenes inside the cat lady’s apartment also standout, with a cooler, darker palette that added to the creepy mood.”
In addition to Dolby Vision and standard theatrical passes in 2D and 3D, Hanel provided the color finish for the standard, Dolby Vision and 3D home entertainment versions of the film.
For more info on “The Secret Life of Pets 2,” visit: https://www.thesecretlifeofpets.com/.