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So! Animates History Channel's Russia Land of the Tsars

So! Animation has finished promotional design, CG animation and intro/bumper composites for the History Channel's RUSSIA LAND OF THE TSARS. The Russian history lesson had the highest ratings for any History Channel program when it debuted earlier this summer. Creative director Lauri Salladay served as compositor on the project with George Schermer and Rob Cazin handling 3D modeling.

So! used XSI illustration and AVID DS 6V compositing to create two visual effects scenes. In the first, the viewer is escorted from blood-splattered snow, over glistening white fields, to a life-like 3D version of St. Peter's Basilica. In the second, the viewer travels through a giant forest of burning birch trees. As the camera pulls out, the scene reveals a statue of Peter the Great in the foreground.

"I felt that tying themes of blood and fire underneath visuals of Russia's icy landscape would add depth to the documentary, said Salladay. Mixing these themes with images of Ivan, Peter and Katherine worked as a metaphor for the tyranny that underscored the Tsar's reign.

So! Animation is a full-service design, editing and sound boutique. Its commercial and graphic design work includes projects for ESPN, USA, NBC, A&E, IN DEMAND and the History Channel. For more information visit

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Rick DeMott
Animation World Network
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