Originally Posted by nathanddrews
Don't films of this type (live action mixed with animation) typically have a plethora of visual artifacts due to the process? After all, they're compositing animation cels over film, right? I imagine that would lend itself to a degree of softness, not unlike the effect modern CG has in film today.
With CGI, the whole scene is brought into the digital environment (even the non-CGI stuff), meaning the quality is at the mercy of the resolution of the digital workflow they opt to use.
With animation incorporated into live action from the Roger Rabbit era and earlier, it would be more like what happens when you expand a set that has only been partially built with a physical matte painting (like a giant arena or a historical city) or insert a physical model into a scene. In this case, it uses a traveling matte processes, which uses a black and white key element to create the composite (white is solid, black is clear and shades of grey range from nearly solid to nearly transparent). Like with completely animated productions, this can use several layers and passes to add lighting and shadow effects.Edited by NetworkTV - 8/10/12 at 7:15am