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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.
(Music playing.) Ashley Postlewaite: So we are here in editorial with Michael D'Ambrosio, the Editor at Renegade Animation, and in editorial basically at the tailend of the process when animation is approved, it goes into a folder on our server called ready for-- Michael D'Ambrosio: Shots to Avid. Ashley Postlewaite: Shots to Avid, thank you. Michael D'Ambrosio: Shots to Avid. Simply named.
Ashley Postlewaite: And that's where the editorial department sweeps that folder and brings all of that finished animation in scene by scene and puts it into the cut. We want to talk a little bit about the sweatbox process. Michael D'Ambrosio: Just building off of what Ashley was saying is we get the animatic in and after that process is done of kind of honing that animatic, it goes off to animation. Once we get the animation back, we are dropping that cut in. We are essentially assembling the animation on top of the boards.
But often times, timings don't work, certain gags won't work, certain dialogue seems to not work exactly. So, you have to go in there and you kind of have got to fine-tune everything and often times if there is time for me, I will go ahead and take a first path before we even start our session, what we call the sweatbox. Alright. So, you can see here what we have here on this first video layer that I have just highlighted are the boards. In the case of Funny Faces, it was done a little bit more traditionally where the boards were actually drawn out in digital format and then JPEGs were actually sent to me as individual files and then cut in the Avid with dialogue, more of a traditional workflow.
That's then broken up, each one of those is broken up into an individual shot and then we go ahead and label that and send that up as individual QuickTimes and WAV files so it can run through our pipeline and then it will go through design and it will go through animation. Once that's done, they create QuickTimes and that comes back to me and it's a simple over-cutting process at that point. Ashley Postlewaite: The term sweatbox came from Walt Disney calling his animators to look at picture for the first time with him.
We still call it that, but it really does speak to that first time, that the Director and all the department heads are seeing picture altogether and the Director is calling out for retakes and any department head here can say, hey! Pete keeps his eyes on the designs, Michael keeps his eyes on cuts that are clumsy or not working to his satisfaction. Joey will keep his eye on animation. Where I am looking for standards and practices stuff, things I know the client is particularly worried about or interested in and the director is looking at the whole thing and the overall picture and storytelling.
So also in editorial, Michael and his crew really concentrates on the precision aspects of it. So it has to be within a tolerance of a number of seconds for the network over/or under, if it's an 11 minute. In the case of this show, we have 1 minute extractable because the UK airs 10 minute episodes. So, editorial has to go in and find that minute and cut it out and make a 10 minute that works. Mr. Menace is kind of lucious format for that because we just make one of the sketches a minute long, but when you have linear storytelling in an 11 minute episode, there is a lot more editorial that goes into making a 10 minute that works out of the 11.
So, there is a lot of that, that the storyboard artists don't really necessarily concentrate on. That's more of the technical and I would say housekeeping aspects of making our deliverables perfectly to spec for whatever network it's going to go on. Michael D'Ambrosio: Some shows come together brilliantly and occasionally a sketch will go by without a change, without a timing change, without me touching one frame. There are other times we can't get through three shots and I am having to work the film.
(Music playing.) (Jolly Ollie giggling.) (Jolly Ollie: Hey, Captain Black, whatcha doing?) (Captain Black: Oh, I be sailing the great, grand seas, Jolly Ollie. What's it look like I doing?) (Jolly Ollie: Watching corn grow?) (Crickets chirping.) (Captain Black: Yar, me hearty. I be day dreaming again!)
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