Ted 2 was a fun show that featured a photoreal talking teddy bear. While this show did not have exploding dragons and slimy creatures, it showcased a bear that conveyed emotion and required a level of integration into the plates that let the audience focus on the performance of Ted and wonder if what they were seeing was a animatronic bear or a cg rendered bear. Ted is 100% CG all the time. The only 'real' bear was a puppet used on set for lighting and shadow reference. Mark Whalberg would act to an eye-stand or sometimes nothing at all and we would remove any props and comp Ted into the plate. Meticulous attention was paid to the lighting and shadow integration of Ted as well as his effect on the surrounding environment. It's the little things here that really sell the shots. Ted's eyes had a lot of attention directed to them as well. Even though they were convex discs, there was a large amount of work that went into what these discs were reflecting and how they reacted to the light. Comp was responsible for dialing these in through a number of custom AOV passes and special mattes. Unfortunately on the big screen, it's hard to really appreciate the amount of detail that Ted posses, but looking at the rendered frames on a good monitor allows you to really zoom in and see the amazing fur detail that our lighters were able to achieve. It's a comper's dream to have great lighting so you can concentrate on integrating the creature and not worry about fixing things that don't look as they should.
There was a particular sequence in there that we are all very proud of. It's an homage to the movie 'Planes, Trains and Automobiles' and it was called the 'Mess Around' sequence, named after the Ray Charles song that plays through it's entirety. The sequence features Ted taking the wheel while he smokes a cigarette and jams out to the song. Hats off to the lighting team on this one. It really is one of the most impressive things I've seen in terms of subtlety and beauty. Camera rigs had to be painted out and shadows being cast on the road were removed as well. The rest was integrating Ted into the car and letting the lighting do the rest. Keep an eye out and watch the complex and organic crawling of the light over Ted as he travels down the road. It was very rewarding watching this sequence come together.