Disney’s Paperman Uses New Tool for Better Animation

February 1, 2013, By Sanjeev Ramachandran

Are you interested in animation? If you grew up watching Disney’s cartoons and animations, chances are that you are a fan.

And fans shouldn’t miss one of the latest offering from Disney, which they created jointly with Pixar’s John Lasseter. The short animation called Paperman is a great work, and not just for the story and artwork.

Paperman took off when first-time director John Kahrs got an idea while working for Blue Sky Studios. Blue Sky Studios are the ones famous for Ice Age movies.


What Kahrs was looking for was the “expressiveness of 2D” merged with CG, bringing out the “stability and dimensionality”. But for that, there should be a new software, which was how Meander was developed in-house at Disney.

There are no full fledged details about this new tool, other than that it allows for the modification of the underlying CG of an animation with 2D drawings; individual artists can chip in to provide more details. This meant that no one had to focus on a given area for more detailing, like cloth, hair or face, to make it more believable.

Instead, they work as a team and lend in ideas to all the areas of production. Stitching Paperman with Meander allows for more emotion in characters and natural movements are more easily incorporated.

The fluidity of the short animation has led it to being nominated for the Best Animated Short Film at the Academy Awards after premiering at the Annecy International Animated Film festival last year. Disney has uploaded the animation on YouTube for everyone to see.

If you haven’t yet watched it, you must. It’s not a video that should be passed.

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