"Minion Mayhem," the Despicable Me 3D ride at Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida, is the latest project I worked on through The Third Floor, and it opened earlier this month. Unlike the movies I have been a part of, where I helped previsualize an assortment of individual shots, this theme park ride was essentially one continuous shot, animated by several Third Floor animators. It was a unique challenge, and my first chance at animating some really cartoony characters. Having worked with motion capture and keyframed almost exclusively realistic human motion for over a decade, it is hard to overstate how much of a breath of fresh air it was to work with this type of material.
NBC's Today Show recently visited the theme park to see the ride in person, and here is the video segment they made about it (you can catch glimpses of the parts I helped animate at 0:46, 1:16, and 1:21). The final animation did a great job of matching the very particular timing and blocking we established, and including dynamic background elements and detailed sets. The main chunk I worked on was the ending, but of course that part was not in the video. If it's anything like how the rest of the ride ended up, it will be bright, colorful, and lots of fun. For the readers of this blog who are able to see the ride, I hope you enjoy it.