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FAQ - What Is The Ligne Calire Style Developed By Herge For Tintin?

Nov 5, 2007
The ligne claire illustrations of the original comic books were very central to the whole ethos of the Tintin world created by Remi. The whole ligne claire look was such a classic that it's inspiration went beyond comics with both Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein both stating it's influence on the pop art scene.

Ligne claire (French for "clear line") was created by Remi and found a home in the Tintin adventure comics. The style is very recognisable and can be described as drawing that uses clear lines which have the same thickness and importance, rather than being used to emphasize certain objects or be used for shading. This style of drawing incorporates strong colours and a will often show a combination of cartoonish characters against a realistic background. The use of shadow is rare and all elements of a panel are delineated with clear black lines.

Remi ligne Claire style evolved over time to the look we recognise today. Remi started out in a looser and rougher style that was evident in the American comic strips of the 1920's and 1930's. It was after World War II that Remi ligne calire style developed that not only accounted for the drawings but also the Tintin plot lines. The plots as a result were very straightforward and easy to understand.

Steven Spielberg has gone on record saying that the reason that he has not made a Tintin movie up until this point was due to the fact that he couldn't faithfully recreate the look of the comics. It is now only today that this is possible.

Peter Jackson of Lord of the Rings Fame has joined the project and the work he does at his Weta Workshop is at the core of how the eventual Tintin movie trilogy will look and feel. The look of the film will be similar to the work done to create Gollum in the Lord of the Ring trilogy. The Weta effects people used motion capture techniques on actor Andy Serkis then using key frame animation and subsurface scattering rendering techniques enabled the first completely convincing portrayal of an animated humanoid in a feature film.

Weta was able to do this using very fast super computers and the brains of some of the best digital special effects people in the industry. They spent a year putting together a 20 minute demo for the Tintin movie. This demo was reported to of wowed the backers. Jackson said "We're making the character look photo realistic; the fibers of their clothing, the pores of their skin and each individual hair. It is possible that the work, certainly the first one will start next year".

The look of the film can only be guessed at but the information given would suggest using real actors then digitising them as with Gollum in The Lord of the Rings trilogy and then using them on actual live world backgrounds.

This would make for a very exciting Tintin trilogy with Jackson and Spielberg being able to truly capture the essence of Tintin and relate that onto a big screen. It truly is something to anticipate with relish.
About the Author
ligne claire style is going to be very popular search topic as the Tintin movie draws near. Holly Franklin has been a big Tintin fan for a number of years. She is very much looking forward to the new Tintin movie trilogy due for release in 2009.
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