As a CG artist who is also addicted to Grey's Anatomy, Lost, Ugly Betty, Pushing Daisies and Desperate Housewives (gosh I need a life)...when asked if I wanted to write an article about the ABC fall television season, I eagerly exchanged my TV's remote control for my computer mouse.
In anticipation of the upcoming fall previews, the promo ads had already caught my attention. I found it especially intriguing that I even noticed the promos, as I detest commercials, and cannot reach for the remote control fast enough between shows.
Yet, this year the ABC promos caught my attention, not only for the obvious reasons (to find out which shows would be returning and which new shows were on the horizon), but also for the ingenious way the promos were created. This year ABC joined with the innovative Troika Design Group, to produce a series of CG based animations; blending live-action images of the cast members of ABCs most popular shows.
The campaign's goal was to bring back the promos of another-era, utilizing big, talent-fueled brand spots, with a unique modern twist...CG animation! It was a risky venture to blend the old with the new, but the expert team at Troika knew exactly what to bring to the table to make the fall promos both classy and contemporary...and they succeeded on both fronts.
Troika produced five spots in all: including a sixty-second network anthem, a sixty-second primetime anthem, and three thirty-second night-specific versions. All featuring ABC talent integrated in fun and engaging ways into CG environments to complement the respective shows.
ABC Brand Spot 08 © ABC and Troika Design Group
click here to view the full promo
With a remix of the song September (by Earth , Wind and Fire), the promos feature show-specific scenes that unfold seamlessly into the next...that highlight all the great characters and programs that are part of this year's ABC lineup. Troika also provided ABC with a modular set of promos used specifically for individual show branding.
The teaming has proven highly successful; combining the previously mentioned traditional ABC branding campaign, with the modern high production CG graphics provided by Troika. A postproduction team of twenty-eight team members, worked diligently over eight weeks as they pushed hard to produce the incredible graphic display in time for the fall season preview deadline.
Three Autodesk Maya artists, and a team of compositors, also ran two Autodesk Flame systems for double shifts over four weeks. Further included in the CG mix: Apple Final Cut Pro with Twister for time remapping; and an eighty-core render farm to handle the 3D processing. Lastly, an Apple Xsan shared disk file system connected everything over fiber and Ethernet.
If you happen to miss your favorite show this week, be sure to check out the ABC website. Many full versions, of the most popular shows, are now online. Not only can you view a complete episode, you can also interact with the characters and plot lines. Check out Lost for a fun interactive online experience.
Lost on ABC
So, as ABC's "National Stay at Home Week" commences...save money and help the environment by staying home and watching TV (hopefully you have an understanding boss). When watching the new ABC season...I can't believe I am doing this...but be sure you stay-tuned for the commercials to catch a glimpse of the Troika Design Group CG artistry! You won't be disappointed.
ABC Fall Season Promo Credits:
Executive Creative Director: Dan Pappalardo
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September 22, 2008
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