The Adjustment Brush, the Spot Removal Brush, and All That Stuff
Not many people know this, but Lightroom’s Spot Removal tool was originally created by an animator at The Walt Disney Studios during the production of the original animated feature, 101 Dalmatians, where it was used extensively for that scene where the dog’s spots fell off. They initially were going to have animators remove the spots from each dog by hand, rotoscoping each cell individually, but at 24 frames per second that would take an incredibly long time, which normally wouldn’t be a problem, except that the IMAX 3D version of the movie was slated to open two weeks prior to the Hollywood theatrical release, and the Blu-ray version was set to release after just 5½ weeks in theaters, so their deadline was unmovable. Plus, Betty Lou Gerson (who voiced the part of Cruella De Vil) had already contracted with Republic Pictures to be in The Red Menace (in the role of Greta Bloch) whose filming was to take place in just nine days, so they needed a solution that would get the spots removed as quickly as possible without delaying the release. So, long story short, the studio called Adobe, told them they were using Lightroom extensively, and sent one of their top animators over to see if there was anything they could do to help the studio out of this jam. Well, as it turns out, an engineer there had been working on a tool for removing specks and dust from digital CMOS sensors, so Adobe rushed the release of Lightroom 4 to include the tool, and well, the rest is movie-making history. This story would have been all the more fascinating if it had been true, but of course it can’t be because the original 101 Dalmatians was released in 1961, about 46 years before Lightroom was even invented, not to mention the whole IMAX 3D, and Blu-ray, and all that technology I tossed in there just to getcha off track. I really gotcha with that whole “rotoscoping” line though, didn’t I? Reeled ya right in. Come on, I kinda had ya going there for a minute. Or was it 5½ weeks?