PandaPanther husband and wife duo Jonathan Garin and Naomi Nishimura, in conjunction with 72andSunny, directed a 2:00 minute promo spot for Activision's new entertainment property "Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure," which was released on Oct. 16th in North America.
Press Release from PandaPanther
PandaPanther husband and wife duo Jonathan Garin and Naomi Nishimura, in conjunction with 72andSunny, directed a 2:00 minute promo spot for Activision's new entertainment property "Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure," which was released on Oct. 16th in North America. The promo, which was created to illustrate the Skylanders' back story, can be seen as a :90 spot on TV and online. The full 2:00 piece will be shown in theaters as a stereoscopic 3D trailer before the upcoming Puss In Boots 3D motion picture.
72andSunny turned to PandaPanther and gave the directors a chance to showcase their creativity and skills. They quickly scaled up, assembling an all-star team of 40+ artists to work over a three-month period. Everything, from the overall flow to the choreography of the battle scenes to how the two characters were sitting in the opening scene, was the product of the close collaboration between Garin and Nishimura, 72andSunny, and Activision.
"We had to make sure this made sense to people - that they understood what was happening, who the bad guy was, and what the conflict was," said Garin. "72andSunny has always been consistent in making sure that their animation pieces makes sense and flow right. Activision, for their part, does a lot of this sort of character animation, so they are looking at what we give them with far more scrutiny than most big companies would."
In addition to the story, PandaPanther had to adapt the on screen (or another word for Broadcast) look and feel of the characters - which initially were more suitable for the game consoles on which they had lived - to the more personal world of cinema. "When we started the project, the characters were in a very videogame-like state," noted Garin. "Our largest initial task was polishing the characters so that they fit into the more epic, cinematic world that we were creating, which was more realistic, with more details."
The Skylander project follows work that PandaPanther had previously done with 72andSunny for Zune.
"We have a great relationship with 72andSunny and are excited to partner again with them on Skylanders Spyro's Adventure," noted Nishimura. "We had an awesome relationship with the agency throughout. Whenever they suggested a change or anything else, it really did make things better.
The project again validates the special dynamic shared by Garin and Nishimura. "Naomi and I can be looking at the same thing on the same screen, but we'll be seeing totally different things," stated Garin. "I notice more of the animation details - the motion, the pacing, the editing; while Naomi makes sure that the textures, balance, colors - all the little details of the overall look and finish, are in line. While we cross check each other a lot, at this point we know what the other is good at and trust the other to work unhindered."
Given the success of this massive project, PandaPanther has ambitious plans for the future. "Now that we've expanded and adapted our pipeline, I'm hoping that we can do more long format projects," noted Nishimura. "We could see expanding further for series work or even features. This was an awesome experience and we'd love to repeat it."
Credits:Client: Activision, Skylanders: Spyro's AdventureSpots Title: MenaceAir Date: October 2011
Agency: 72andSunnyCreative Director(s): Jason Norcross, Bryan RowlesGroup Brand Director: Alex SchneiderDesigner: Jake KahanaCopywriter(s): Tim Wolfe, Mike Van LindaBrand Manager(s): Ellie Schmidt, Mandy HeinAgency Producer: Danielle TarrisAssistant Producer: Becca Purice
Production Co.: CaviarDirector: Jorma TacconeEP: Michael Sagol
Animation Studio: PandaPantherDirector(s): Jonathan Garin, Naomi NishimuraTechnical Direction: Adam BurkeStereo Supervise: Navid BagherzadehDesign: Diana Park, Ivy TaiStoryboard: Fred Fassberger, Paul Boanno, David ReussEditing: Maria Diakova, Alan OrtizSet Building & Art Department: Junko Shimizu, Janet Kim, Shinya Nakamura, Kazushige YoshitakeMatte Painting: Tim Matney, Andrew Leung, Nick GiassulloModeling/Photogrammetry: Sam Dewitt, Eric Xu, Jeeah Huh, Ari Hwang, Herculano Fernandes, Cristina AponteRigging: Jason Bikofsky, Amy Hay, Zhenting ZhouPrevis: Richard Cayton, Adam BurkeCharacter Animation, Han Hu (lead), Guy Bar'ely (lead), Henning Koczy, Sam Crees, Jordan Blit, Doug Litos, Danny Speck, Jeff Kim, Jared EngJunior Animator(s): Doug Rappin, Chris Devito, Darren Chang, Chang Pei Wu3D Effects Animator(s): Reggie Fourmyle, Rich MaganLighting & Texturing: Dave White (lead), Ari Hwang, Herculano Fernandes, Laura Sayan Gabai, Lucy Choi, Christina Ku, Jeeah Huh, Carl Fong, Cristina Aponte (intern)Compositing: Matt St. Leger (lead), Gerald Mark Soto, Chris Gereg, Adam Yost, Navid Bagherzadeh, Gabriel Regentin, Bryan Cobonpue, Sohee Sohn, Yingshu Lai (intern)Producer(s): Amy Fahl, Angela Foster (director's cut)Production Coordinator(s): Lauren Simpson, Jazeel GayleProduction Office Manager: Erica ArmstrongSystems Rendering TD: Craig Zimmerman
VFX: MPCEP: Asher EdwardsLead Colorist: Mark GethinLead Artist: Ben Davidson
About PandaPanther:PandaPanther is a New York-based animation studio headed up by directors Jonathan Garin and Naomi Nishimura. PandaPanther possesses a uniquely tuned talent for combining high-end 3D animation with illustration, design, stop motion and live action. From concept to execution the broad use of various techniques and mediums helps to motivate and evolve every new inspiration into something fun and magical. PandaPanther began as a brand that Naomi and Jon used when they worked together on art projects starting in 2006. In 2007, PandaPanther was officially launched as a fully functioning studio. Since then it has grown quickly to include a few new additions to the team. They now reside in their new office on the lower east side, collaborating with various artists, creating new stories and adventures.