The latest incarnation of Dr. Seuss’ “The Grinch,” presented by Illumination Entertainment, adapts the iconic holiday tale of the hairy green Christmas-hating grump into a 3D animated feature, appealing to both new and nostalgic audiences. EFILM Colorist Jason Hanel, who specializes in animated content and previously collaborated with “The Grinch” Co-director Yarrow Cheney on “Despicable Me 3Secret Life of Pets,” helped enhance the film’s distinct look, including delivering Dolby Vision HDR passes for theatrical and home entertainment as well as standard theatrical and 3D passes, among others.
“The film has a naturalistic verisimilitude that we tried to preserve, but at the same time, it’s this amazing fantasy world high up in mountains with snow clinging to everything. It’s a hyper-reality look that feels grounded in the real world,” Hanel explained.
In preparation for the project, Hanel tested and optimized his workflow for EXR files alongside EFILM Image Scientist John Quartel, to preserve as much HDR data as possible, . a process first implemented for “Despicable Me 3” and refined for “The Grinch.” This approached enabled Hanel to draw out detail in areas that would have otherwise been overwhelmed by bright highlights, such as the snow. When needed, he’d optimize elements that didn’t quite translate appropriately for HDR.
Persevering image integrity was of utmost importance to Hanel. He noted, “Color finishing animation is more delicate than a photographed scene. I’m always mindful of not clipping or compromising the technical soundness of the image, while at the same time giving the material the desired look.”
While the main character’s green value was well dialed in, the rest of the color palette varied from scene to scene depending on the action and characters featured, with the aesthetic being ranging from predominantly bright throughout.to dark and moody. Hanel concluded, “Working on ‘The Grinch’ was a fantastic collaboration; the incredible team from Illumination made a beautiful movie and I loved enjoyed giving it the final polish.”
For more information on “The Grinch,” visit: https://www.grinchmovie.com/