In addition to :30 and :60 spots, the package also includes four :15 donuts and three sets of :10 lower thirds.
"The client wanted the overall look of each spot to reflect the old View Master reels with Ray Harryhausen stop motion," notes Clark.
With numerous projects in production at Bent at the same time, the "Lazlo" team decided to set up their own pipeline, using a standalone gigabit RAID network appliance as the file server to store the data. Every hour the system backed up the Lazlo RAID to the main file server.
Five miniature sets were built for the project, and 30 different shots were captured. The team used a custom-built, motion-control rig to seamlessly tie together 2D characters, stop motion puppets and miniature backgrounds.
The 2D team used Macromedia's Flash V.7.0 running on tablet PCs, which were built into custom animation table tops to give the animators the feel of a traditional workspace. Once the digital sequences were approved, they were loaded into Adobe After Effects for processing. Armatures were removed from the bear character and the 2D team match-moved their animation to the stop motion character movements.
"We ended up taking every element that we shot on stage into After Effects, which enabled us to not only effectively composite, but to create all of the 3D environments shown in the 'Bus' spot and all of the backgrounds seen in the 'Bear'spot," says Clark. "We were also able to recreate camera moves, cast shadows and build forests from stills taken of 2D trees on flat planes from the actual sets. Some of the final comps contained more than 80 layers."
In addition to After Effects, the Bent Image Lab team used Adobe Photoshop, Autodesk 3DS Max and Avid gear running on PC and Mac G5 platforms to complete the assignment.