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Merging Classic With Cutting Edge for Disney's "Paperman"

Paperman, Disney’s newest short film, debuts in theaters this month as the premovie entertainment for Wreck-It Ralph. The team at Disney created its cutting-edge software, dubbed Meander, to build this new hybrid of 2-D and 3-D animation. Meaning? Classic Disney looks (think The Little Mermaid) with the depth of digital animation.

1 "We create computer graphic (CG) models of the characters in the Paperman world, just like we would for Wreck-It Ralph or Tangled," says producer Kristina Reed.

2 "Early line drawings are created by hand directly over the CG models."

3 "CG facial features are drawn over by animators to refine the expressions."

4 "You don’t want to redraw lines on every frame, so Meander pulls lines through to the next frame. It sits together in this very unusual hybrid world that looks hand-painted."

A version of this article appeared in the November 2012 issue of Fast Company magazine.