Tickle U, Cartoon Networks new programming block for pre-school children, has launched in the U.S. Animal Logic has worked with Cartoon Network to create packaging and bumps to help launch Tickle U and carry it through subsequent months of programming.
Tickle U features a line-up of original animated series designed to encourage children to laugh and have an optimistic view on life. Airing weekdays from 9:00 am-11:00 am, shows include FIREHOUSE TALES, GERALD MCBOING BOING and GORDON THE GARDEN GNOME. On the strength of its continuing work for Cartoon Networks on-air look, Animal Logic was invited to create packaging and bumps for Tickle U that take viewers in and out of individual shows.
The bumps star three hosts: Pipoca, a mischievous but sweet character, Henderson, Pipocas goofy and loveable sidekick, and Place, the playful, interactive environment in which they live.
Cartoon Networks Tickle U core team and co-creators, associate creative directors Kevin Fitzgerald and Steve Patrick and director of production Ashley Nixon, presented Animal Logic with the concept. We instantly fell in love with the concept, said Animal Logics producer Sarah Beard. They provided us with designs for Pipoca and Henderson and we transformed them into the animated 3D characters.
Place was more amorphous in that it didnt have a specific design locked in during the early stages. Place represents a real collaboration between the Tickle U team in Atlanta and Animal Logics creative team in Sydney. Cartoon Networks Fitzgerald spent an intense week in Sydney working with Animal Logics creative team, led by art director Suzanne White and CGI lead Scott Hunter, to define who Place is as a character and finalize the look. Place is an abstract character so we had multiple possibilities. The challenge was to create something that would reflect its limitless environment but was possible to execute with the deadlines we had, said White.
The final result includes a combination of 2D and 3D elements. As Place communicates with limited dialogue, abstract shapes and photo montages were created using 2D elements. These were composited with the 3D atmospheric backgrounds as needed. To add to its dreamy feel, Place has been ambiently illuminated rather than using light from one source with several light, texture and color passes created in Maya.
Animal Logics team of 3D artists spent a lot of time creating the animation rigs for Pipoca and Henderson to help streamline the character animation pipeline. For simple-looking characters, their 3D rigs are very complex. Controls such as the automation of Pipocas antennas have been written within Maya to help 3D animators expedite delivery of new scripts over the coming months.
Animal Logic will continue to deliver new material for Tickle U, including interstitials, event and seasonal packages such as Halloween and Christmas specials.
Tickle U launched on Cartoon Network in the U.S. on Aug 22. Cartoon Network, currently seen in 88.5 million U.S. homes and 160 countries around the world, is Turner Broadcasting System Inc.s ad-supported cable service offering the best in original, acquired and classic animated entertainment for kids and families.
Animal Logic credits:* Producer: Sarah Beard* Line Producer: Rebecca Franklin* Art Director: Suzanne White* CG lead: Scott Hunter
2D Compositing team:* Suzanne White* Bill Stepanoski* Thomas Diakomichalis* Toscha Blenkinsop* Peter Jeffs* Martin Crouch
3D team* Animation Lead: Mike Mellor* Lighting Lead: Jeremy Howdin* Animator & Storyboard Artist: Paul Braddock* Storyboard Artist: Geoff Valent * Brett Margules* Paul Jakovich* Bhakar James* David Hansen* Feargal Stewart* Arran Potter* Kanin Phemayothin* Brad Wong* Steve Beck* Sandy Sutherland* Tom Bardwell* Ben Falcone* Andrew Lodge* Phil Wittmer* Stefan Litterini* Daniel Marum* Ben Falcone* Ian Watson* Larry Townsend* Designers: Dael Oates and Angela Pellazari
Animal Logic (www.animallogic.com) is a digital production company based in Sydney, Australia. Established in 1991 as a design-based visual effects house for television commercials, the company soon broadened its creative platform to include visual effects and digital animation for film and television series. Animal Logics visual effects credits for feature film include HERO, HOUSE OF FLYING DAGGERS, MATRIX: RELOADED, THE MATRIX and MOULIN ROUGE. Recent television commercial credits include Baz Luhrmanns commercial for Chanel No. 5, starring Nicole Kidman and Visa BIRDS starring Richard Gere. Animal Logic is also responsible for designing and building the 3D environments that feature as part of Cartoon Networks on-air look.