By Marc Loftus
Issue: February 1, 2005


NEW YORK - Croog Studios opened in 2001 with principal Michael Croog envisioning his facility as the producer of long-form animated content. The studio has lent its animation expertise to both commercial clients and broadcasters - Nickelodeon most recently - and is now finally realizing Croog's dream with a show he and his wife conceived titled, "Sprouts."

"I've always wanted to do my own project," says Croog. "This company was started based on the idea I had for 'Galaxy Gang.'"

"Galaxy Gang" is based on the adventures of a bunch of kids who befriend an alien that has crash-landed in their backyard. While show is on the back burner for the time being, a clip of its 2D characters over 3D backgrounds can be viewed on Croog Studios' Web site:

For "Sprouts," now in the early stages of production, 3D characters will be set in completely 3D environments. Doug Booth is writing what will become two 22-minute episodes. And Croog animators are currently working on character models. As many as 10 creatures will serve as the main characters, with numerous additional characters showing up too. And elaborate pencil drawings of the show's 3D environments already exist.

According to Croog, the studio will begin serious work on the program once writer Booth completes the script. Characters are being modeled using Alias Maya 6 Unlimited running on dual-processor PCs. Environments will be created using Maya as well - the studio currently has three seats.

Helping to publicize the "Sprouts" project will be a children's book. The storyline and friendly characters lend themselves well to the print environment and Croog says one publisher has already expressed interest. The video project - what will initially consist of a dual-DVD release - will be produced over the next 9-14 months.