Pre-visualization of former Movie Sonic design surfaces

A look at a pre-visualized Movie Sonic was uncovered in a two-minute video uploaded on Vimeo.

The video exhibits various scenes that featured a visibly toned-down Sonic that resembled his initial “pre-redesign” design. It is popularly known by fans as “Manhog” or “Gremlin Sonic” due to his uncanny characteristics.

The video was uploaded by Ellery Ortiz, a pre-visualization artist for Digital Domain, a digital animation studio in Los Angeles, California. Ortiz was among the many artists who worked on the wireframes for the 2020 Sonic the Hedgehog film.

Working from storyboards, I created animation and defined timing of action in the shots. Sweetened with FX and Lighting elements. Defined camera composition and lens choices for the purposes of storytelling.

Ellery Ortiz

What’s the biz about previs?

Pre-visualization, or previs, is known in the animation industry as the conceptualization of complex scenes, similar to the idea of storyboarding. Rough animations and models are purposely enabled to allow animators and film directors to make quick adjustments before the final render.

“Previs artists rarely can show their work because of NDAs, and if they do, people deem it ugly because it’s not supposed to be polished or final,” said video effects artist Philip Drobar in a tweet thread forwarded to Tails’ Channel. Drobar was one of the artists who worked on the Sonic Movie under Moving Picture Company. “But previs work is crucial in modern film making and sometimes the most creative step in the whole process.”

The backstory of Movie Sonic’s design

Sonic’s design in this new footage matches more with the design used for the 2017 short film pitch. (Instagram)

Sonic fans with a keen eye will notice how this design isn’t exactly the design that was seen in the original trailer for the movie released back in April 2019. Sporting blue hands and a little more “chubby”, this design resembles more the design that was used in the short film pitch for the Sonic Movie.

It’s always interesting to see these concepts related to the movie’s development surface, it gives everyone an insight in what could have been.

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