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


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Creative Inspirations: Renegade Animation, Animation Studio

with Renegade Animation

Video: Workspace

(Music playing.) Ashley Postlewaite: Hi! I am Ashley Postlewaite. Welcome to Renegade Animation. We are a 2D animation house, digital 2D. We've sort of worked on a paperless 2D pipeline here. So we've put away most of our paper and pencil and now working with computers. Even though all of our work is based on traditional animation fundamentals.

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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

Workspace

(Music playing.) Ashley Postlewaite: Hi! I am Ashley Postlewaite. Welcome to Renegade Animation. We are a 2D animation house, digital 2D. We've sort of worked on a paperless 2D pipeline here. So we've put away most of our paper and pencil and now working with computers. Even though all of our work is based on traditional animation fundamentals. This is a project very near and dear to our heart called Funny Face.

It's actually characters from the 60s and 70s that were a drink mix, a competitor of Kool-Aid. The storyboard department is right over here. So we took the old fashion animation desks and retrofitted them, re-engineered them to hold the computer so that the artist could stay oriented to their drawing board in a way that they were familiar with. The backbone of our pipeline here is Flash. So this storyboard artist work with the dialog track in their earphones and they get what's called a radio play and that's what starts their work, the script and the radio play.

And then they put the drawings together and start really formulating how the episode will look in terms of camera moves, compositions, storytelling points, timing, all those things are worked out here in this department by the storyboard artist. So after the storyboard is approved by the client, we usually have some revisions back and forth with the director and the client. Then the storyboard moves to the design department and they take the storyboard that we've just seen and create all of the visual elements that are necessary there.

So the backgrounds, the automobiles, the props, the characters, anything you see on screen has come through this department and been literally designed. Here at Renegade we every once in a while still get called upon to do traditional animation so we keep a couple of setups here, the old fashioned way where we actually do use paper and pencils and erasers and shoot pencil tests, and work more traditionally. And most of the time when that happens we have an arm wrestling match with all the artists who want to work on it because the guys miss drawing with paper and pencil.

So we keep a little setup just for those occasions. So here in this room we bring in the music, the sound effects and the voice work, and mix them altogether. We built this room a couple of years ago and now we can't imagine living without it. So this is something that I think a lot of place is used to take out of house, but the technology has become much more accessible. So now we do it all in-house which is great because the director and the executive producers and people don't have to be wasting time in their cars.

So this is the opposite side of the room we were just in. So this is where the actors will stand or sit and as you can see we are set up for four actors here. We like to record what's referred to as radio show style, so we put as many of the actors together in the booth as we can and have them working opposite one another because we think you get more human connection, more comedic timing, more-- just the connection between characters happens much better when the actors are actually here together.

We post the storyboards here outside of the animation bullpen. In this case, these are some storyboards for the Mr. Men Show that we are working on. We do this for a number of reasons. One, the animators can take a look and we know who has each sequence. More specifically then the animators can look at who they have to hook up to and who hooks up to them. So that if it is a continuity shot they can check with each other and also it allows us to really look in an overview at which scenes are similar to which other scenes.

So that we could either combine them and give them to the same animator, so that they can economize or can just make sure that they all tie together. Right now, we have two teams of animators, the Lions and the Tigers, working. So each one of them have their board and get their assignments. In our business, I mean really every character has two actors. It has its voice actor and then it has its animator who is really the actor, who is making that character come to life and bring that vocal performance to life.

So, down here are editorial suites. This bigger of the two editorial suites is for clients to come in view but also for something we called sweatbox where everybody comes in, all the heads of the departments come in and see the animation together for the first time. It's called the sweatbox because Walt Disney used to do this very process in a very small room, hunched over a Moviola. And so it was hot in the room because it was a small room but also it was -- you were sweating because Walt Disney was looking at your work.

So that sweatbox reference has endured and we still called it that in our process too. (Music playing.) That's pretty much Renegade Animation in a nutshell. We thank you for coming to visit us, and we hope that you'll be seeing shows that we produce for years and years into the future as we continue to try and pioneer digital paperless 2D animation.

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