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03/12/2009

Animation In Focus At Redboard

A new proprietary software-based storyboarding and pre-production management system, Redboard, has been purchased by Lupus Films and The Picture Production Company (PPC).
This is to aid in the production of a new CG animated children's series called The Hive. Redboard is being considered by a number of production companies and studios around the world but Lupus Films and PPC are the first to take advantage of Redboard's special introductory pricing for use on commercial productions.
Lupus Films and The Picture Production Company invested in Redboard to drastically reduce initial storyboarding costs, so as to make the storyboarding process considerably more accurate and therefore minimise expensive changes further down the production pipeline.
They said that by using game engine technology, Redboard is able to preview storyboard panels in realtime, providing a simple but accurate CG representation of the narrative environment onto which traditional storyboard artists can easily add drawn details and expressions.
HRA estimates that Redboard can save up to 50% in storyboarding costs; whilst also increasing storyboarding accuracy, which in turn yields huge efficiency benefits on the remainder of the production pipeline by significantly reducing costly revisions and changes.
Redboard's said its ability to dramatically improve the communication of CG data across a number of geographic locations was key to Lupus Films and PPC, helping the production team to accurately communicate the initial CG layout data to their overseas animation studio who were working on the remainder of the production.
The Hive's series producer, Camilla Deakin, said: "HRA suggested using Redboard as an alternative to the existing 2D packages.
"Our creative director, Ray Merritt, was initially skeptical because Redboard was unfamiliar. But once HRA had demonstrated Redboard's potential using our existing Hive assets, we were blown away by how useful it was to see actual models and characters in situ at such an early stage of the production.
"It's very reassuring for a director to know what they send their animation studio has the correct camera angles, elements sizes and positioning, because you know it means these won’t have to be corrected later.
"2D storyboards look nice but they often cheat perspectives and sizes to fit it all in. If an overseas studios is being used for the animation, the director is unlikely to be on-hand to oversee the fixes, so a system like Redboard hands control back to the director, whilst reassuring the studio that changes will be minimal.
"It's also ideal for presenting to broadcasters as Redboard storyboards build an accurate sense of what the final production will look like," he said.
The Hive follows the lives of brother and sister bees, Buzzbee and Rubee, and will be broadcast in the UK on GMTV from autumn 2010, with international transmission currently being negotiated with a global pre-school network.
The series comprises 78 x seven-minute HD episodes, translating as an enormous 546-minutes of CG animation.
Redboard is Hibbert Ralph Animation's new proprietary software-based storyboarding and pre-production management system.
Hibbert Ralph is a multi-award-winning production company specialising in 2D and 3D animation for commercials, broadcast, cinema, idents, logos, promos for all media and music videos and was established in 1982 by globally respected animator, Jerry Hibbert.
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