Boj – Setting up a Series
With the start of any new production it is essential to get your groundwork in place, especially when you are setting up an entire show.
Technically speaking it is of utmost importance to make sure characters, backgrounds, props and effects are well planned and executed. Any small technical frailties in rigs or usability issues can render one of the aforementioned useless, well at least a nightmare for the people who will be using them.
With our rapidly growing reputation for delivering top quality and innovative CelAction projects ‘Boj’ was going to be our biggest challenge yet. The show features the most fantastical props and ‘Boj-ed’ contraptions which really tested our experienced rigging team. It’s not an easy task keeping track of control points when you are rigging a prop with well over a hundred different elements and layers, which often need to be moved independently as well as part of many other groups!
At Cloth Cat Animation we have developed an in-house workflow to ease each asset through the various file formats, taking it from artwork to the final rig.
- Original artwork created in Flash
- Artworked elements are then broken down and prepared for rigging in Illustrator
- Rigging takes place in CelAction ‘Assemble’ mode before being tested in the ‘Animate’ mode
Upon receiving artwork we set about preparing the artwork for rigging. In ‘Boj’ there are some truly majestic backgrounds and props which, when rigged, must do justice to the original design. It is a thorough process which relies on a particular meticulous mindset and a LOT of forethought for what the character/prop will be required to do. You are essentially making the animator’s life easier whilst at the same time building a basis for all rigs across the entire series.
“With so many 2D effects in the show, we really wanted to push the limits with the artwork and we are not disappointed.”
When the artwork team have done such a good job tackling everything from water splashes and ripples to stretching fabric, lighting effects and complex vehicles it makes the rigging all the much more important. You really don’t want the characters and props to look great as stills, but then fall apart when interacted with or seem unnatural and awkward. The expert Cloth Cat rigging team have been using CelAction for many years, clocking up multiple series’ and working directly with the developers to add new features, so we knew they would do a sterling job! The team is able to put the rigs through their paces in all manner of situations before they are passed on to the layout team, who in term give them a rigorous testing.
Sometimes, the action packed episodes of ‘Boj’ mean a lot of camera moves and extended backgrounds on which the story will play out. These scenes are constantly challenging and fun to plot out. Layout is not just about staging and framing, it is where most of the problems arise and are solved and luckily at Cloth Cat we have a very methodical layout department. With ever-updating assets, a keen eye for composition and an at times unhealthy addiction to continuity is essential.
When it comes to delivering a huge series like ‘Boj’, you are editing for export in numerous formats for multiple broadcasters around the world. This is where all that careful planning and scheduling we did early in the production comes in handy! At Cloth Cat our post-production team are working with eight delivery formats across three languages, and so we’re busy readying for the first block of deliveries and brushing up on our French!
“At Cloth Cat we are fortunate to have a highly experienced and enthusiastic team and we keep them on their toes with our wide array of clients, styles, software and projects. ‘Boj’ is a wonderful show and we are eagerly anticipating seeing it hit screens in the near future!”
For more info visit the ‘Boj’ website and keep your eyes peeled for it on CBeebies soon!
02 November 2013