ABC Discovers CG Magic!

September 21, 2008 10:54 pm

Tags: ABC, CG, Desperate Housewives, Fall, Grey's Anatomy, Lost, Pushing Daisies, Troika design Group, Ugly Betty

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" 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
Executive Producer: Kristen Olsen
Producer: Chris Gernon
Designer/Art Director: Earl Jenshus
Producer: Kelley McDermott and Jess Ferguson
Coordinator: Christopher Belanger
Editor: Chris Gernon
Flame/Compositor: Jeff Heusser, Maribeth Emigh, Andy Edwards and Matt Trivan
3D Animator/CG Artist: Jason Mortimer, Cory Strassburger, Candida Nunez, Adrian Dimond and Jeff Sargeant
Animator: Jun Kim and Jim McDaniels
Tracker: Michael Moorehouse
Assistant Editor: Marisol Mcllvain
2nd Assistant Editor: Jeff Hayford
Storyboard Artist: Chad Glass, Kaz Mayeda and Elizabeth Colomba
Pre-Viz: Loose Cannon Factory

Live Action:
Executive Producer: Jim Riche
Director: Randy Roberts
Creative Director: Dale Everett
DP: Andrew Dintenfass
Line Producer: Chris Stoerchle

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September 22, 2008

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Article Comments

nickcharles ( posted at 12:00AM Fri, 26 September 2008

Thanks Dee-Marie, for the scoop on the work that went into the ABC promo spots! Troika did a fantastic job, and a great soundtrack choice, too :)