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Punch Pants

A Ghostbot blog.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Method to the Animation Madness

We’ve received a lot of requests on our work methodology since we’ve started Ghostbot. Hopefully this post will shed some light on it. Here's a rough step by step process in producing a single scene for an Esurance spot.

Step 1: Rough Thumbnail Story Board

Upon receiving the script, we get to work on story boards. For this phase we don’t worry too much about model, but more about how the spot flows, how to convey all the ideas within the time frame, and how to make things readable. This drawing is pretty shameful, but luckily I have the other Ghostbots to pick up my slack.

Step 2: Tighten Story Board

Once we’re happy, we all tighten them up for presentation for Phil Robinson at Wildbrain and the client. For this phase, we work on the character’s attitudes and expressions a bit more as well as background, lighting, and possible color.

Step 3: Pencil Layout

After everyone is happy, we move into layout. Here is a drawing done by Brad where he focused on making Erin and Erik as appealing as possible.

Step 4: Flash Clean Up and Assembly

We send this off to powerhouse Kris Toscanini. She cleans up the art and separates them into elements to be animated in flash.

Step 5: Animation and Final Tweak

When we animate, we spend a lot of time trying to get everything to flow between each scene. We vary our timing and motion and angles, so things stay fresh and lively. For Esurance we tend to animated very subtley because of the nature of their designs. If you move them too much, it tends to look very “flashy” or if you over do it, it can easily look like a bunch of midgets in an Erin suit.

The final touch.... Roque adds bg, color tweaks, lighting effects and anything else we can think of to punch up the spot as much as possible.

Viola! You can check out the final product here.

Hopefully this sheds some light on how we do things at Ghostbot. Either that or I've totally confused all of you!

Monday, July 10, 2006

Shorty McShorts' Shorts

Shorty is close to our Ghostbot hearts.

Designed by super slick Chip Wass, "Shorty" is the mascot for a new short film series being produced by the Disney Channel. The Shorty McShorts’ Shorts show is a showcase for several brand-new animated shorts from a veritable slew of red-hot creators. Starting Friday, July 28 at 7:55pm, and each Friday afterwards, a new short will premiere after the mega-popular “That’s So Raven” show.

The little dude has been a big part of what we've been cooking up at Ghostbot HQ for awhile now. First off, for the series promos (which began airing last Friday night), we were called upon to get funky and produce all of the Shorty character animation. Never has making a tiny guy dance been so much fun. On the spots, we worked with L.A. based film and TV post house, New Wave Entertainment, who supplied all of the rad After Effects for the project.

Also, as a super secret bonus, one of the shorts that will be featured during the show’s run is a Ghostbot original! That’s right, one of our own wild concoctions is making its way to the airwaves. We can’t tell you much about it yet, but rest assured, once we can you’ll be some of the first to know. Besides doing our own episode, we also got to work with a couple of other directors on their own shorts, whipping up all kinds of animation, design, and storyboards.

As soon as we can give more info, we’ll fill in all the details… in the meantime check out the Disney Channel for more zoogi-filled Ghostbot animation on the Shorty promos.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Happy Trexi Friends

Happy Tree Friends, collaborates with Singapore-based Play Imaginative where six of their characters will be immortalized as an art toy.

The new line of trexi designer toys have been customized for the enjoyment of collectors of many ages, featuring six adorable Happy Tree Friends characters: Giggles, Mole, Splendid, Petunia, Toothy and my personal favorite….Buddhist Monkey (a San Diego Comic-Con exclusive).
And if you want to see Buddhist Monkey’s humble beginnings for free, you can run on over to the Happy Tree Friends site and check out Enter the Garden!

*special thanks to Christina for the photo scoop!
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