A live action film is a combination of both ordinary film and computer generated images, whether it be 2D or 3D animation. With in this technique, actors learn how to interact with objects and characters that are not physically there. Animators would usually follow the process of creating a complete animation, however instead of creating a background there will be an existing video background. Programmes used for this technique would mainly be After Effects but if it contains 3D motion graphics, then a 3D modelling programme such as Maya, Cinema 4D or Daz 3D.
One of the first and most iconic Live Action movie is Disney’s Who Framed Rodger Rabbit in 1988. To have the animations and real life actors react in sync, the footage was filmed first and then artists would draw out how they would be reacting in that situation, both physically and emotionally. After creating a basic animation, it was sent to ILM (Industrial Light & Magic) to render through and create visual effects like shadows on both the characters and environment. It was said that the most difficult thing to interact with the real life environment was Jessica Rabbit’s dress as each individual sequin reacted differently to night clubs lights.
As well as Who Framed Rodger Rabbit, Disney have made several Live Action films including Space Jam in 1996 featuring Micheal Jordon, Bill Murray and Danny DeVito. Additionally in 2004, Disney created Looney Tunes: Back in Action which had a far more detailed animation and lighting compared to both Who Framed Rodger Rabbit and Space Jam.
2 years before Looney Toons: Back in Action was released, Warner Brothers created their first Live Action called Scooby Doo: Spooky Island, this is based off the animated series, Scooby Doo. With this movie, Warner Brothers worked on making a realistic looking animation, unlike Disney who focused on making the characters quite animated and exaggerated. The way in which ‘Scooby Doo’ was created was seeing how a dog figure could mimic human figures and movements, first done with drawing out Scooby Doo. Then the producers went on to animating Scooby Doo on a 3D modelling programme (unknown) and seeing how he would compare to figures with in the film, then moving on to animating details and add hair and shadow textures.
Films are constantly using Live Action in their films, however due to it being such a common feature in films it is now replaced with the term CGI (computer generated imagery) and we can see it in popular franchises an films such as Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings and Avengers Assemble. Additionally we see this technique rise in television shows as having unrealistic objects on TV draws in audiences, this hasnt been as often as films however it has become more frequent over the years with shows such as Wizards of Waverley Place, Game of Thrones, Doctor Who and The Flash.