September 30, 2012
By Melody Uy
The furry, foul-mouthed teddy bear in Ted is a surprise. Beyond the gags I expected from the irreverent mind of Seth MacFarlane, the eponymous character itself was a revelation. I don’t always enjoy mocap and CG; I find inconsistencies in movement such as unnatural shifts in the character’s center of gravity and off-key facial muscle movement distracting.
Watching Ted and Mark Wahlberg pummel each other, it didn’t even occur to me that a character stuffed with nothing more than wads of cotton should not be able to pack such a punch. The eponymous character Ted was so beautifully done I stopped thinking of it as an animated stuffed toy 10 minutes into the movie. Sitting close to the screen I found myself admiring the camerawork and lighting that brought out such detail in Ted’s two distinct well-worn patches, temporarily forgetting the VFX work. When I saw the end credits I was surprised to discover the character animation work was shared by VFX studios – Melbourne’s Iloura and San Francisco’s Tippett Studio. The fur texturing, lighting, and nuanced facial expressions were so consistent I didn’t even suspect Ted was created by two studios, each with their own hair and fur systems.