Beauty and the Beast – Milwaukee Ballet


Brand Photography by Saturn Lounge

They say that Beauty & the Beast is a tale as old as time, and the Milwaukee Ballet is re-telling that story through art and dance, premiering April 12, 2018. Michael Pink, the ballet’s artistic director has created his newest masterpiece paying tribute to the classic love story, and offered Saturn Lounge the opportunity to be a part of the magic.

Saturn’s creative director, Eric Olson, and the ballet’s director of marketing and communication, Anne Metcalfe, teamed up to create a custom homepage for the ballet to highlight its new performance and bring it to life—literally. After several conceptual meetings discussing various presentations of the piece, Eric introduced Anne to the concept of 2.5D animation, and Saturn got to work.

Creating a 2.5D animation takes a lot of work…and talent. Just like one would guess, 2.5D animation isn’t just 2-dimensional work, but it’s not quite 3-dimensional either; it’s right in the middle. To achieve this Eric brought Nicole Teague-Howell, the star ballerina who portrays Belle, into the studio to capture her for the image to use on the homepage. To get the perfect shot, the team got to work to produce the right amount of lighting to get the precise poses to effectively capture the essence of Belle’s beauty and grace. All of this was created without the enchanted background to inspire and immerse artistic creativity for the team; they had to bring that in later along with other elemental aspects.

The new homepage features Belle holding a book with a rose in the middle opening up to flower. The image Eric shot was Belle holding the book, which the team then animated, but the rose was imposed as well as the background. To get the animation of the rose, the team used real time-lapse footage of a rose over the course of 4 days. A camera was placed on the rose capturing video of it for 4 days, and the time-lapse video was sped up to simulate animation. To elicit a feeling of transcendence, one of Saturn’s graphic designers created custom illustrations that were also animated to provoke an overall sensation of airiness. To see the 2.5D animation, check out the Milwaukee Ballet’s homepage here.

Saturn was able to effectively capture the magic and power of the Milwaukee Ballet’s performance of Beauty and the Beast, bringing a fresh perspective to the well-loved classic while still maintaining the entrancing nature remembered by so many. The homepage experience will pull you in and you, too, will become enchanted.

The Milwaukee Ballet’s performance of Beauty and the Beast premieres April 12 and runs through the 15th at the Marcus Center.

Click here for tickets.

Brand Photography of the Milwaukee Ballet by Saturn Lounge