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Creative Inspirations: Renegade Animation, Animation Studio
Illustration by John Hersey

Digital workflow: design/layout


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Creative Inspirations: Renegade Animation, Animation Studio

with Renegade Animation

Video: Digital workflow: design/layout

(Music playing.) Peter Rida Michail: So, we receive completed story boards and approved story boards from the Director, and here in design, we will slug through the board, and pick, start picking out key backgrounds. What key backgrounds are are just backgrounds that we'll be punching in on. In this case, this is the key background. After our key background is designed, this will be sent on to the next department and they will be able to punch in on all of these different backgrounds for the boards.

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Creative Inspirations: Renegade Animation, Animation Studio
1h 2m Appropriate for all Sep 01, 2009

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Renegade Animation has pioneered digital 2D paperless animation with a unique all-Flash workflow—and a bunch of really great cartoons! This installment of Creative Inspirations gives viewers an inside look at this innovative character animation studio. Partners Ashley Postlewaite and Darrell Van Citters describe how they left jobs with major studios to form their own company, and how they have been able to create a successful business that defies all the rules and provide a great working environment in the process. Learn how these renegades have evolved traditional character animation into a completely digital workflow that provides greater creative expression and faster turnaround.

Subjects:
3D + Animation Creative Inspirations Animation Documentaries
Author:
Renegade Animation

Digital workflow: design/layout

(Music playing.) Peter Rida Michail: So, we receive completed story boards and approved story boards from the Director, and here in design, we will slug through the board, and pick, start picking out key backgrounds. What key backgrounds are are just backgrounds that we'll be punching in on. In this case, this is the key background. After our key background is designed, this will be sent on to the next department and they will be able to punch in on all of these different backgrounds for the boards.

So, all of these backgrounds that are for all of these scenes, comes from this one key background. And I will be able to punch in here and we build them on all different keyframes. So, all the different backgrounds that they will need is in this one file. Ashley Postlewaite: And the great thing is each one of those elements that is made here in design, is a separate symbol but is named according to a naming convention that we have developed here at the studio through asset management.

So, that each of those pieces then goes into the library to be used again. You can see Pete scrolling through here, how they are made and then the reverse of that of course is when he is looking at a story board and he needs Mr. Grumpy's house, or whatever, he can type that in and it goes straight to that file on the server and if we have already created Mr. Grumpy's house, boom, he clicks it on to his desktop, does whatever alterations he wants to do with it, and he is off and running. Peter Rida Michail: So, when the project came to Renegade, it was these children's books that everyone was familiar right from the 70s and the client just wanted to give it more of a modern look to it.

But still without straying too far away from these originals. So, Renegade was in charge of just giving this property and updated look, and still keeping it familiar. So, here is actually our Little Miss Helpful next to the classic look. Ashley Postlewaite: The legacy, classic. But really the backgrounds in the books were mostly white. For broadcast, that just wasn't going to be something that would work and when they weren't white, they were bright, bright colors, where on a printed page, your eye can figure out where it supposed to go but in action it would have been really, we thought, very busy.

Peter Rida Michail: We wanted to try something different, something new. We felt like the characters were getting lost in a lot of these backgrounds. So, for a good month or two, we were just experimenting. We started experimenting with different looks and so we figured we would just break all that up with doing textures. For that we actually went into Painter and started building our own library of different textures and different colors that we could choose through, as production went on and just start designing right over them.

Characters popped off the screen a lot more, than having just a flat color behind them. Ashley Postlewaite: That's one of our biggest challenges I think in this show, is that we have the 25 or now 28 characters, all of these shapes as Pete says, these solid shapes of colors, and it's almost I felt like, oh, my Gosh! What colors are left to put in the background that they could really pop again? And that's where Pete, I think, did such a fantastic job with introducing these textures to really make Dillydale this lovely really colorful place.

We have gotten really wonderful feedback from fans of the books, who grew up with them, who really like what Pete and other people at Renegade did, which is really gratifying. It's always a little scary to tinker with something. So, there's 100 million of these looks in print. So, it's a little nerve-wracking I think. Peter Rida Michail: Absolutely! Ashley Postlewaite: But fun!

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