If you have seen any of the previews for BRAVE or any of my coverage of the film here on the blog then you know that Merida’s hair is practically a character in itself. I didn’t realize how true that was until we sat down with Claudia Chung Simulation Supervisor. For instance they had to actually come up with NEW technology for Merida’s hair. An actual “computer curling iron”! Below is a bit from the interview with Claudia talking about Merida’s Hair.
There’s volume. There’s, there’s length. There’s different size curls.
The curls themselves are really tightly wound curls but the movement of her overall curl is nice and soft. And there’s also these hairs that break away from her silhouette to show her wildness, her adventurousness. And that’s kind of the key look for Merida’s hair that we had to hit when we designed her. So, as a groomer, this is what I would see in the computer. This is what I would work with, Merida kind of standing there. I would take her scalp and basically grow curls off of her head and detail exactly how those curls grow.
So the groomer who actually worked on Merida developed a new technique because she was like, “How do I get these curls that look the way the art director wants or the director wants?” She’s like, “I really need a curling iron.” So she actually built in the computer a curling iron where she could change the sizes of the cylinder, the length and stuff, so she could curl the curves around that. So, and that was really what she to actually produce these curls really fast and direct, and have them be art directed.
Um, the length of her curl, if you were to pull it straight, will measure out 4 feet long. Merida herself is only five four, so she has really long hair. Um, it’s, it’s, uh, fifteen hundred hand-placed, sculpted curves. So that’s a lot of, a lot of time in the, in the wig-making process. Um, do you see the different colors that, of these curves? So all of these different colors actually represent different layers of her hair, kind of like you would in Photoshop.
So each layer is a different kind of curl size, different length, different stiffness. Some of the, some of the bigger curls might be stiffer and what you can see then is as they layer together they create the final look of Merida’s hair. So there’s a fill hair, kind of like the soft, fuzzy, hairs that you guys have, that’s that like first, short level of groom. So, um, in the end it’s a hundred and eleven thousand curves that get rendered on her head.
***Disclosure: I attended #DisneyPixarEvent . My flight, lodgings, and expenses were covered by Disney. All opinions are 100% mine.***