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Exopolis Redesigns Nicktoons Network with ‘Anti-Network’ Package

Los Angeles-based broadcast and interactive design firm Exopolis has completed the redesign of the Nicktoons Network, in preparation for the networks shift to a 24-hour a day, advertiser-supported channel. Exopolis redesign includes five promo packages, :30 fully animated network IDs, 20 navigational elements, multiple stand-alone animations, four logo animations and a 30-second fully-animated cross-channel spot called Three Headed Monster.

Reflecting on the finished product, Nicktoons Network creative director Thomas Markert said, The unique world Exopolis created mirrors the attitude of the programming, engages our viewers without talking down to them, and thoroughly incorporates our studio in Burbank as a real place where real work gets done. The Burbank Tourist Board should pay us some money for making their town look so groovy!

Nicktoons Network gm Keith Dawkins added, Exopolis created and delivered a package that has answered every main point outlined in our brief... Every design and animation review we had with them was an eagerly anticipated event. Their talent seems inexhaustible!

We knew we had an enormous challenge with this package, said Exopolis creative director Darwin Tomlinson, the moment we received the brief asking us to create a sort of anti-network package that would generate the networks attitude rather than just display its programming information. That, coupled with the request from Nicktoons to make their central headquarters, the actual Nicktoons studio in Burbank, one of the lead characters of the package, and the bold positioning of Nicktoons Network as The Animation Capital of the World, gave us a strong attitude to lead our creative from conception through animation.

The network package features a blend of collaged imagery. Multiple images were cut and pasted to create environments and elements that would possess frenetic energy, or frenegry, as the Nicktoons Network creative team called the animation style Exopolis created for the project. Exopolis art director Brien Holman describes the elements of Exopolis anti-network package as, Always containing some sort of twitch, that when combined into a composition of multiple twitching elements creates an energy that brings the network a sort of hidden urgency, as if it is eagerly anticipating the next Nicktoon, or programming block.

The new package also boasts a unique modular construction. In all promotional material, tactile elements such as post-its, Polaroids and torn paper are literally taped to the screen, deliberately obscuring the complex animation beneath, to become the only source of communication with the viewer. The tactile menu and tag elements were designed to be re-arranged haphazardly on top of the animation. According to Tomlinson, There is tremendous potential to refresh the on-air presence simply by taking the elements we created and re-organizing them into new compositions. The possibilities are endless.

The end result, described as a dazzling spectacle of watershed animations, was created with the idea of repeat viewings in mind.

Platforms and software used: Apple Macintosh G5 duel drive desktops; Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, and After FX; Cinema 4D, Quicktime Pro.

The Nicktoons Network re-brand recently went on-air. Exopolis co-wrote, designed and animated the cross-channel spot, which features a three-headed monster created in the self-conscious mold of early GODZILLA films. Simultaneously with the on-air change-over, a montage of Exopolis Nicktoons package began playing every 15 minutes on the JumboTron screen above MTV in Times Square, New York. Both the montage and the Three-Headed Monster cross-channel spot can be seen on the Nicktoons Network website, at www.nicktoonsnetwork.com.

Exopolis credits include:* Creative Director: Darwin Tomlinson* Art Director: Brien Holman* Exec Producer: Mandy Martin* Designers: Brien Holman, Jason Cook, GMUNK, Justin Blyth* Producer: Mike Harvkey* 2D Animators: Jayson Whitmore, Brien Holman, Greg Reynard, Dan Meehan, Bill Sneed, Jake Portman* 3D Animators: Greg Reynard, Dan Meehan, Jake Portman, Justin Blyth, Jason Cook* Editors: CROSS-CHANNEL spot: Jayson Whitmore; Network IDs: Jayson Whitmore, Bill Sneed, Greg Reynard

Exopolis (www.exopolis.com) is a creative studio specializing in broadcast, print and interactive design and development with a special focus on the convergence of these media. Exopolis works with some of the best-known brands, agencies and companies, including Universal Studios, Warner Brothers, Fox, Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, BBDO, Ogilvy, Crispin Porter + Bogusky, HBO, Nickelodeon, Bravo, AMC and others.

In 2005, Expolis collaborated with Crispin Porter + Bogusky on the multi-platform MINIUSA CCC campaign, which won a Cannes Titanium Lion. At the 2005 Promax/BDA awards, Exopolis won two gold medals, three silver medals and a bronze medal for their broadcast design.