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Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends

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Oh yeah, Swanka and Splat, how old are your kids? Just wondering what the age group is that is interested in our show.

The Ape

...we must all face a choice, between what is right... and what is easy."

Me boy...

be a wee eight years old...but a cartoon connoisseur non-the-less!

Hope it helps, and we can't wait to see it!

Splatman :D


Well shes 7 (about to be 8) going on thirteen (attitude wise) with "all that sass!"Shes a great kid seriously and a bit of a cartoon expert herself it seems?
lil hipsters!?

Cool. Thanks Swanka and Splat. It's good to hear that both boys and girls are interested in the show. Don't forget to watch it tonight. You can just tape that Olympics thing thats also going on today and watch it later ;) I hope you and your kids enjoy our show. Oh, and remember, it's a 90 minute movie premiere. So if people are taping "Fosters" it's not just a half hour.

The Ape

...we must all face a choice, between what is right... and what is easy."


Hey, I just watched the Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends movie premiere(Olympics Schmolympics!) and have to say that I thought it was fantastic... it had me and my brother laughing and we're both over the age of 20! What a great concept and the characters are all quite fun. I thought it was a great touch to create the 'spanglish' speaking Eduardo... funny guy! I think the kids will like this one(me included!)... Great work, Ape! :D

"i love the graph editor"
and visit me on myspace...

Great show, Ape!

Sadly, I was unable to watch the WHOLE show before my wifey-poo kicked me out to do some fence work in the back yard!

I WAS able to watch up to the point of the "tour" by the tall red guy! Very funny! I plan on trying to catch the reruns to see the whole story...but what I did see was great! My son said he had watched it four times already...(can't ensure the validity of said statement, tho!)...BUT he liked it a lot!

And so did I! Great charachter design, great backgrounds and the story was engaging and sucked me right in! Nice animation, ta-boot!

You've got our vote!

Splatman :D

Hello Ape; i'm impatient to see that stuff on my french TV :D
You are lucky to have worked on that ! Craig McCraken is a real genius. I love his work.
4 questions :
you said it was animated in flash :
-the trailers are not in good quality, but I think that there is a "pencil" effect on the animation; how did you do that?
-why did you use Flash and not something like ToonBoom, especially made for animation ?
-were the backgrounds also designed with flash ?
-did Cartoon Network searched for flash animators or did they train traditionnal animator to flash ?

I've done a little flash movie at school. What do you think of it? I made it alone; in about 6 months.
My flash movie

Great job, Gordie. It reminds me of Hoving's work ( ).

I haven't seen Foster's yet. b:(:( h:(:(

Thanks for the link, that's nice !

Well I'm glad a bunch of you like the show. It's always good to know that all your hard work is appreciated and makes people laugh.

Gordie, we use a combination of Flash, Illustrator, and After Effects on the show. Flash for all the animation, After Effects for compositing and some effects work, and Illustrator for the Backgrounds as well as some details on the characers. Cartoon Network specificly recruited animators who know how to work with Flash. We are all traditional animators and that helps make the show not look "internet Flashy." As far as I know, Toonboom isn't all that popular in the LA animation circles, though I could be wrong. But there are a lot more animators who are familiar with Flash than Toonboom.

Nice work on your lemming cartoon Gordie. Some really good stuff. I love seeing a more traditional animation style using the Brush tool like you did.

The Ape

...we must all face a choice, between what is right... and what is easy."

new to the forums

hey, just stumbled across this forum while searching about this great new toon. I was wondering if it was done in flash, because it seemed to be done that way. Starting a web comic/cartoon myself, i found this particular one to be really inspirational. does anybody know where i could find out more about the animator? and um, hello to all :)

haha um,, reading more into it, it seems that you're involved in the production yourself, ape. do you have any tips / resources for an aspiring animator? :) and just so you know, im in high school, so this cartoon stretches to quite a range in the age spectrum. :)

Great work Ape i must say This has even reached high school girls, and even a few of the guys i might add.

My friend Jacklyn came to school monday excited about this show and every time a new episode airs im sure to hear something about it come class.

I am greatly inspired to work harder in flash after learning that Flash is the choice of LA animators aswell as many cartoon network animators.

Currently i am working towards animation as my career, any advice you could give a young animator?

Hi RedCapedPeanut, and Chason, and welcome to the forums. I'm glad you both like the show, and we're not too surprised that some highschool people like it as well. And yes, it is completely animted in Macromedia Flash.

As for advice and inspiration, stay in school, eat your vegetables, get plenty of excersise. Oh not that kind of advice? :D Just draw a lot. Even if you are going into 3D animation, you need to draw. Get that pencil milage. We work in a visual medium and drawing is how we get our ideas across. A good example of this is James Camron, the drawing of the girl in Titanic, was actually a drawing that he did. But yeah, draw a lot, and draw from life. Watch how people walk and stand and act and react to people and things around them, and draw that.

As for animation, learn the basics: Weight, force, squash and stretch, moving on arcs, overlaping action, breaking joints, timing and others. Also have fun. Experiment with your animation. Wondering how a walk will look if done a different way? Try it and find out.

The Ape

and keep watching Fosters! :D

...we must all face a choice, between what is right... and what is easy."

Just to let u know both my neice and nephew, 4 and 5 years, like the show. Especially the character Bloo. And when they can remmember a characters name that means youve got something good!

PS i also like the shw as well. but then again i like anything Cxraig McCraken dishes out.

What would scooby do?

Saider, I'm glad you and your family like the show. That's awsome that both boys and girls are liking the show. That's always a good feeling. Thanks.

Thats ok Mike, like I said, it all worked out. To me, 24 fps works best. It's easier to break in half, when animating on twos, and you also have less frames to animate. I do know a few studios that do animate at 30 fps.

As for compsiting, I'm really not sure what file type our guys use. I'll ask if I can remember. But yes, we do animate each scene seperately and then composit it all together in post, along with adding final sound and any FX needed.

Yep, "movie clips" bad. Always use make your symbols a "graphic." At least for animation. Not sure about website stuff. Movie clips won't animate when you export them out, so you'd have to go in and change the symbol's property to a "graphic" and it should work.

The Ape

...we must all face a choice, between what is right... and what is easy."

Thanks again Ape- I appreciate you taking the time to answer my questions. I'm gonna start some preliminary sketches for my side project now...


I think our guys export out our shots as Quicktimes layer by layer, that way they can add effect to one part and not another if need be. But I'm not sure of the specifics as I've never used After Effects.

The Ape

...we must all face a choice, between what is right... and what is easy."

Hello. I just wanted to say that I just started watching the show recently, and I think it's really cool. So your show is reaching college level girls, too. Great work.

Awsome Rumplekitty, I'm glad you like our show. It is a great show, and is a lot of fun to work on. We hope that shows in our episodes. Oh, and welcome to the AWN forums Rumplekitty.

Oh, and we also got word from Atlanta, that we are getting picked up for another 2 seasons. Go Flash Animation Group!!!

the Ape

...we must all face a choice, between what is right... and what is easy."

Oh, and we also got word from Atlanta, that we are getting picked up for another 2 seasons. Go Flash Animation Group!!!

Longtime animator, first time poster here...

Wow, Ape. That's wonderful news, I can't wait!

I caught onto Foster's a bit later than most here, (about 2 weeks ago) but have made up for lost time by burning all 9 episodes (including pilot) that have aired since then onto DVD via TiVo.

Just a fantastic show in every sense: concept, writing, storyboarding and animation. I'm simultaneously thrilled and jealous to watch this series take off. Congrats.


by far my favorite cartoon on regular CN it honestly blows the rest away much love :D


My lady friend and myself, both, love the show! She isn't into cartoons as much as I am so, that's a complimant, all in itself... We are both 21, in case you were still wondering about age groups.

I love the one where blues playing the paddle game. "One! One! One!" Haha good stuff!

Hey ape, great show :D Well, I've only seen one episode. The one where (sorry if I get this wrong, it was a while ago) the pink new girl imaginary friend falls in love with the blue dude, and he always forgets what she's called. That is so hilarious, I'm 16 and I still was laughing. Reminded me a lot of an expierience I have seen with my friend and this girl :P Almost the exact same thing happened haha. :D

Great Job, Ape

Seriously. I admire you so much.

I watch my two cousins three times a week, and during our two hour "sessions," Foster's is always on the agenda. I'm a 17 year-old male, my one cousin is 7 and loves the show, basically laughs hysterically. My other cousin is 3 and she loves everything Coco. As do I, I must say.

This show is ingenious. It is quality television. It makes me laugh so hard, but still appeals to younger audiences as well. It's very hard to do that IMHO.

And Coco is SOO funny.

I love the mall episode where she constantly changes "sides." Hilarious.
Also love the Terrence/Red episode. Too funny.

Great work!

My favorite episodes are (in ramdom order):

[list][*]Store Wars
[*]Frankie My Dear
[*]Mac Daddy
[*]Sweet Stench of Success
[*]Sight for Sore Eyes/Bloo's Brothers
[*]My So-Called Wife[/list]

And TarekZ, here's a link to the theme music for you:


Blahdy blahdy blahdy blahdy blahady...

Need content for my noncommercial website

Hi all,
I'm a fan of 3D animation, since last month I'm running noncommercial website which provide multimedia content for smartphone especially short movie, till now I'm collecting stuffs from the internet (some of them i believe come from your work :p ), I would be honoured if you guys can contribute some fresh 3d animation for my site, please tak a look, and let me know if you interested, Thanks and keep ya kool work guys

FREE mobile video download :D

Being from Hawaii, I love Spam and all, but...huh? :confused:

...we must all face a choice, between what is right... and what is easy."

WTH? :confused: :confused: :confused:

Blahdy blahdy blahdy blahdy blahady...

Erik could you tell me how the show is animated for example you put the character in the scene, then you put the keys then the in between (how would you do the in between) and then i don know maybe camera moves,...

somthing lik this i dont know if the steps are rigth or maye you need another step.thanks :)

Hi juako and welcome to the Forums.

" put the character in the scene, then you put the keys then the in between..."

That's pretty much exactly how the show's animated. We inbetween the keys frame by frame, use the tween function now and then, as well as animating some out. The camera moves are done in post with After Effects.

the Ape

...we must all face a choice, between what is right... and what is easy."

I don't know if this has been adressed, sorry if it has,
but do you do the show frame by frame with a Wacom tablet? Or are the characters pre-made or what? It has a very traditional look for Flash...


Most of the animators use Wacoms. A couple Cintiques, and some use the mouse. What ever the animator prefers. There are model packs of the characters that have asset libraries that are used. Some actions need to be animated straight through traditionally in the computer while other shots you can reuse symbols. When I say frame by frame, I usually mean that the animator keys everyframe and does it manually versus setting two keys and then letting the computer tween the symbols.

the Ape

...we must all face a choice, between what is right... and what is easy."

if a character have to do something like moving his arm or another part, witch part would you move first?
I always have doubts with this when I am animating and sometimes I get messy results. :D
p.d. could you give me a good advice on timing

On my top 5 cartoons ever!

Just to add to the list, I have to say in all my days of loving cartoons, thats 21 years now, this has got to be one of the best. I love the fact that its wholesome and histarical, my flatmate and i both love watching Foster's Home!
Oh and I totally love the theme song, the kazoo is awesome, I want it as my ringtone on my mobile. Well now that ive let out my excitement, please return to your rather complicated flash production.

Also note that this TV series is being done in FLASHHHHHHH.

hmmm, i was wondering, just out of curiosity, how do you format a flash animation to display at standard broadcast aspect ratios? i know you can set the display res and all that jazz, but didnt know you could choose the aspect ratio. can you do that in flash? if flash can do this ima start animatin right now:)

btw, thx for the info on this. if this has already been explained (im lazy and dont want to read all of the replies), just point me to the reply.....grats:)

hajime mashite :) ogenki desu-ka?

You can change the window size in the "Properties" box under "Size." So what ever size you need to export your animation out as, thats what you set it at.

Now get to animatin'! :p

the Ape

...we must all face a choice, between what is right... and what is easy."

You can change the window size in the "Properties" box under "Size." So what ever size you need to export your animation out as, thats what you set it at. Now get to animatin'!

DOH! thats what i get for not playin with flash, darn it all, thx again AA!
i will start animating emediatly!

one more thing, i know i cant ask you to explain too much w/o me going back to school lol, but what is the appropriate kewframe timing for a 24/frame/sec animation? is it event dependant? in other words, do you use less keyframes when animating slower events? or more when your animating faster events, like fighting? this has always bugged me and kept me from playing with flash, cause i really dont know where and when to put a keyframe, after the first one of course....

hajime mashite :) ogenki desu-ka?

Our show, "Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends," is on this month's cover of "Animation Magazine." There is also a multi page article about our show and with the show's creator, Craig McCracken. So happy reading. :)

The Ape

That's cool. I like your show. It's waaaaay better than some of the crud they show like "Kids Next Door" and other stuff like that. UGGHH! It's the first show I've ever seen that uses flash for TV. I really like Craig McCrackins work like the Powerpuff Girls and (the older) Dexter's Lab.

thanks alot for the advice ive been taking it into practice
ive been drawing every day i of corce have to folow along with class assingments currently its pen and ink drawing from real images or still life with our own ideas on things.

Nice work Ape,
You've got a pretty envious job- I would love to work on a great project like Foster's. I've watched a couple of episodes and I'm still impressed that it's flash. Very well done.

I'm a flash animator myself - We focus mainly on story and writing, so most of time, the animation lacks depth. But since I'm the sole animator, I don't have the time to be as meticulous as I want.

We've been trying to get to TV for awhile now, and we recently scored the voices of Macho Man Randy Savage, Cynthia Rothrock, and the band O.A.R. - So it's always cool to see a Flash based cartoon on TV- makes me wanna work harder.

I've been wanted to do a side project of my own where the focus is the animation- Would you mind telling me the fps and screen size you use?

Thanks in advance, and again- nice work

Hi Mike, and welcome to the Forums. I'm glad you like our show. We have a great production team working on this show, and we are trying to push the medium, and are pretty happy with the results so far. But we are by no means satisfied.

I actually applied to collegeuniv. a few years back, but then never contacted me back. It all worked out though. :D

The best way to start working on your own project is just to start. We work at 24 frames per second at 720 by 540, which I think is pretty standard. If you have any other questions feel free to ask, I'll try and answer them.

The Ape

...we must all face a choice, between what is right... and what is easy."


I saw your cartoons about two plus years ago.

I think the show is great.

Hey pcdoctor,
Thanks for checkin out the show, glad you like it. We're working on the new episode now- hopefully to be out next month.

Thanks for getting back to me, I'm sorry I never replied to your email way back- I wish I knew about it. In all fairness I've lost all my emails on several occaisions when I would change servers and whatnot...but I still wish I got back to you. Eventhough I don't make any money from the show :)

Okay cool, so 24 fps and 720x540 - Thats kinda what I thought, but for some reason I was thinking 30 fps would be better for flash to TV...but 24 makes much more sense.

I assume that each studio has it's own method to production, but I've heard that one method is to do each scene in it's own Flash file, export it to swf, and then import it into After Effects to handle any effects, or camera movements- then bring it all together with a program like Final Cut Pro, etc. Is this what you guys do?
Sorry for the long-winded post, but one more question- From what I understand you can't use movie clips for any of the animation, is that right?

Thanks again Ape, for letting me pick your brain!



I have to say that the three of us in our family love the show! We're wondering - is it or will it be available on DVD? Our 1 year old thinks it's fantastic, she dances to the music and is mesmerised by the colours - her dad and I enjoy the finer details! We'd love a copy to have at home - mostly because when she's teething or screaming her head off, if it's on the tv it calms her down instantly!! So basically, we need a copy to save our sanity!!

Hel :p

just curious ape

YOu don't have to answer but I am just curious what do you get paid for doing this, are you like under a 2 year contract or do u get paid per episodE???????

Hi Ape-
It's Mike from College University again. I must say I am completely addicted to Foster's at this point- Bloo's facial expressions are amazing...simple, and strong and also cracks me up.

I'm currently working on a pilot episode of our show, and was wondering if you could tell me the dimensions for the action and title safe zones on a 720x540 screen? Or, if at all possible to send a template with just the dimensions on it?

Or does another department worry about the safe zones in post?

I've tried a search online and can't seem to find anything.

Thanks in advance, and keep up the great work!

And...loving it.

Blahdy blahdy blahdy blahdy blahady...

Hi Mike, you can download an fla with title safe from Bluehicky's website. He has a lot of great tutorials and suck on his site

Flash used to have a template with the titlesafes already on it, but I can't seem to find them on my version, mx2004. Blue's should work, they are the same dimensions that we use on Fosters.

gabe, I can't really tell you how much we get paid, but it is a very comfortable wage to live on in the LA area. Not enough to buy a house, esspecially not in today's market, but comfortable none the less. We are considered contract workers, so we are basicly as long as there is work for us to animate.

the Ape

...we must all face a choice, between what is right... and what is easy."

Thanks Ape!
You rock and/or roll!

I'll post some animation updates as they come along