Steven Spielberg has replied -- indirectly -- to comments made last month by animation producer Stephen Paul Leiva ( Space Jam ) that Spielberg's upcoming The Adventures of Tintin should not qualify for an Oscar nomination as an animated feature because it uses performance capture technology. In an interview with the Los Angeles Times , Leiva said, "Performance capture is not animation." Artists are not creating The Movement and acting, he explained, live actors do. "You then overlay an illustrative look ... [that] is nothing but a special effect." However, discussing the technology in an interview with the same newspaper today (Thursday), Spielberg said that it required him to use "a whole new muscle set -- the technology and the approach and the thinking of it." Without directly referring to Leiva's remarks, Spielberg said that he was required to learn how to use an entirely new set of tools in making Tintin . "I did feel like a painter in a way, and that was exciting for me." Spielberg made the comments in an interview with the Times in which he discussed his plans to make his first appearance at San Diego's Comic-Con International on July 22, where he will unveil footage from Tintin. The movie is scheduled to open on Dec. 23.