Our Zero film was made using stop motion animation, meaning we photographed real puppets and sets.

However, in many scenes, we chose to shoot against a blue screen and composite a digital background in post-production. This often saved us time and money or allowed us to obtain a certain look we may not have otherwise achieved with a practical set.

In our video, you’ll see a split view of our film with and without the background.

We followed a few basic rules to make the backgrounds look as seamless as possible.

Every scene needed the ground built for the characters to stand on. This anchored them in the world thanks to how the shadow and light bounced off the characters and their surrounding environment.

Also, where possible, we’d surround the characters with real props helping to sell the idea of them being in a physical space.

Finally, our digital backgrounds should be off in the distance and out of focus so they’re unassuming.

But where possible, if we felt like we’d be spending a lot of time in a scene, and it was easy enough for us to do so, we’d build the complete set. Like during Zero’s birth. Or while he was in prison.

Sometimes, nothing beats the aesthetics of a physical object.