Hesse Remarks on Movie Sonic Design Retrofits

Hesse Remarks on Movie Sonic Design Retrofits

by December 10, 2019

Tyson Hesse, hailed a hero in the community for his work revamping Sonic’s look for the upcoming movie, has left some remarks on a community message board about how that design has been translated from some of Sonic’s original video game poses and, in some cases, now modded back into some of those Sonic games.

Those remarks were made on the Sonic movie thread on Sonic Retro under his Boxer Hockey pseudonym, a reference to the comic series that parodied the hedgehog and helped make Hesse a major name in the community. The remarks were prompted by a discussion that compared some of movie Sonic’s current poses in the film to original Sonic renders, such as those in Sonic 2006. A few skilled modders have been able to take an AR model of Sonic created for the recently concluded Comic Con Experience in Brazil and port the skin back into titles such as Sonic Adventure 2.

On the discussion and comparison, Hesse noted some of the intricacies with building a model for film:

The problem with trying to retrofit a film grade VFX model into a video game is that Sonic’s game models are built to look decent so that as little facial animation as possible needs to be done.
99% of the game Modern Sonic will not have a single bit of actual animation being done to his face or even have a single vertex altered from his face in t-pose.
Movie Sonic is built to be fully animated in every frame. Just dropping his static mug into a game with no fur is going to look like shaved taxidermy.

Hesse also said later in the thread:

I think any word on design choices are going to have to be funneled through officially sanctioned sources for now. Hopefully we’ll do interviews sometime in the future though where we can talk about what changed and why. There is a “why” for every choice, made by me or otherwise.
I am glad that it’s taken most people this long and a naked model to notice the extra back spikes though. Tells me it was the right decision.

Those remarks in particular are interesting given some of the criticism levied at Paramount for exercising legal threats over fan site Sonic Team Argentina for publishing an interview with one of the movie’s animators that revealed some of the “why” Hesse references–largely in the form of unflattering details about the redesign process. The site has removed that interview, and our story about it is also offline, though TSSZ never received a direct legal threat concerning the interview.