What will Steven Spilerberg‘s Tintin look like? The motion-capture work for his adaptation of Hergé’s classic comic character was shot last year, with Peter Jackson and WETA now working on post-production. We have yet to see a single design that shows off what the character will look like when the film appears in theaters next year.

But we can get a few ideas of what we’re likely to see based on comments Spielberg has now made about the tech used to make the film. It sounds as if his Tintin, played by Jamie Bell, won’t be a rubbery 3D CGI humanoid, but a much more direct recreation of the art style of Hergé.

The LA Times has comments from the director, who says he wanted to get as close to the series’ original art style as possible, and that working with digital recreations should allow audiences a better window into the world than live-action would provide. “Hergé wrote about fictional people in a real world, not in a fantasy universe,” Spielberg says. “It just seemed that live action would be too stylized for an audience to relate to. You’d have to have costumes that are a little outrageous when you see actors wearing them. The costumes seem to fit better when the medium chosen is a digital one.”

The article doesn’t have a direct quote from Spielberg on this point, but says “Jamie Bell will be digitally made to look exactly like Hergé’s classic renderings of Tintin.” That’s heartening. And yet the film doesn’t sound like it will look like a traditional 2D picture, as Spielberg mentions seeing his actors and characters running through a three-dimensional world.

And based on his experience with motion capture, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Spielberg do more mocap in the future. Of working with actors on the digital ‘stage’, he says:

I just adored it. It made me more like a painter than ever before. I got a chance to do so many jobs that I don’t often do as a director. You get to paint with this device that puts you into a virtual world, and allows you to make your shots and block all the actors with a small hand-held device only three times as large as an Xbox game controller.

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