Head Gear Animation recently completed some spooky stop-motion animation for Cartoon Networks October programming on-air promotions. To promote the network's "Scaretoon Scaretoon Fright Days," Courage the Cowardly Dog and his owner Eustace bury a television set in the backyard. The buried cel animation TV is transformed into a stop-motion zombie version of its formerly benign self. Courage quakes with fear as the TV rises from the grave sporting a promo for "Scaretoon Scaretoon Fright Days" programming. For "Courages Trick or Shriek Marathon," Eustace confronts his zombie TV set, only to run off screaming in a fit of terror, with Courage right behind him. The television zombies were created with ball and socket armatures built by Jeanie McIvor, and fleshed out with sculpey, armature wire, wood, paint and hand-tailored clothing by Dave Asling at GVFX, who also created the desert landscape set. Eustace and Courage the Cowardly Dog were rotoscoped from episodes of the actual show, and were then composited using After Effects into their new stop-motion world by Kyle Sim, with help from Jason Pultz and Nick Fairhead. Cartoon Network On-Air Promotions department conceived and produced the spots, which feature two 30-second promos, as well as 15 different bumpers featuring characters from COURAGE THE COWARDLY DOG. Craig "Sven" Gordon served as writer for the spots, with creative direction from Pete Johnson. The spots were produced by Ashley Nixon. The animation was designed and directed by Steve Angel, animated by Drew Lightfoot and produced by Sue Riedl. Audio and final compositing was handled by Turner Studios. The Halloween promos are currently airing on Cartoon Network.
R!Ot Pesters Travelers For Expedia.Com. Santa Monica-based visual effects house R!OT recently worked the bugs into a new 30-second spot for the travel Website Expedia.com. A team of three compositors and a computer animator created the swarms of flying insects that menace a pair of vacationers in the spot, conceived by Deutsch, Los Angeles. In "Mosquito Net," a woman exploring hotel choices on Expedia.com sees the descriptive phrase "mosquito nets in every room" under a hotel listing. The woman imagines herself and her husband in a tropical hideaway, only to awaken in the middle of the night besieged by insects. R!OTs role in the project was to create the pesky pests that cling to the mosquito netting in the fantasy sequence. Some of bugs were shot live, but most were added in post-production. Individual mosquitoes, flies and grasshoppers were created via one of three distinct techniques. Background bugs were produced en masse by R!OTs Dominic Daigle using Softimage|XSI. Flying insects seen in closer views were produced as 3D elements by R!OT animators who created insect models based on photographs of different species. Stationary bugs resting on the mosquito netting that surrounds the couples bed were derived from real insects shot in camera or against blue screen and composited onto the netting. Verdi Sevenhuysen worked with fellow compositors Stefano Trivelli and Claus Hansen in integrating each of the various insect elements into the live-action scene. "They worked extremely hard to perfect the effect, adding bugs, taking bugs away. They were quick and creative and always delivered what we asked for," said FilmCores Gordon Carey, who edited the spot. "They did a great job of creating a travelers worst nightmare."