August 18, 2006


The studio was called on by the Discovery Communications-owned Animal Planet to design a friendly look for a three-hour destination block of Friday night programming that would appeal strongly to both kids and adults. The package of opens, closes, interstitials, IDs, lower thirds, and mini-vignettes is designed to establish the cable channel's group of hit shows, such as Meerkat Manor, The Most Extreme and Amazing Animal Videos, as a new programming block.  

LSD principal/creative director Marian Lipow and principal/executive producer Earl Stoner came up with a 3D animation that incorporates approachable new animal combinations like the half tiger, half horse Tigorse, and the, Zebrish, which combines a zebra with a clown trigger fish. 

"Our concept for Tail-Evision grew out of an illustration exercise I had done once where I created new, unique animals out of existing animals," Lipow explains. "I thought this would be an interesting jumping-off point for me to create an intriguing series of animals in an original environment. Not only were we able to invent these fun new species, but also put them in a place that's simultaneously on land and underwater - an un-delineated location where something like a Zebrish would comfortably exist along with a Tigorse. Meanwhile, our design of the logo, which features a python tail undulating out from the 'E' in 'Tail-Evision', is almost like a character in itself." 

Lipow's creations were achieved through a combination of Autodesk Maya, Adobe After Effects, and Haircut and Shave. Animal Planet required 30 elements be delivered in just five weeks.  

"As the project began to unfold, we presented storyboards for each element on their list, so Animal Planet could say 'yes' or 'no' early on and give everyone a crystal clear idea of the scope," Stoner notes. "Our own 3D artistry also benefits from such extensive storyboarding. It provides a clear path to the project's ultimate destination, which in turn allows for well-planned logistics at every stage."  

By posting material to the company's FTP site, LSD was able to get prompt feedback from everyone in the approval chain.