Post-production & Compositing
In our experience of creating projects of all shapes and sizes, rarely if ever have we encountered a post-production pipeline that’s specifically designed to handle 2D animation and its specific traits and quirks.
On one hand, dedicated post-production houses are focused on cinematic VFX and have limited experience in compositing 2D animation. On the other, most animation studios don’t have deep knowledge of compositing tools and techniques that could easily elevate the quality of their work.
So, we needed to scratch our own backs and that’s how the Chase a cloud post-production team was born.
look & feel
For years, cartoon series and 2D animation has been deprived of the elements that make up a true cinematic look & feel because of the specific workflow it has had to employ. That’s not the case anymore and breaking the chains of the status quo means more beautiful pictures in less time and budget.
3D Stage - we always build a 3D stage for all our shots. This give us as much depth as we need at any time and enhances the compositing process in so many ways.
Realistic Camera - from fancy 3 axis dollies to hand-held simulation and camera shakes, the camera movement has been telling awesome stories on reel for as long as cinema has existed. There should be no exceptions! Тhis should be standard for 2D animation too!
Motion Blur - Motion blur is still a rarity in 2D animation but it gives so much advantages that should be considered by any serious production. It gives any picture that pure cinematic feel while doing miracles in smoothing out transitions and fast paced action when needed.
Depth of Field - not only a great way to seperate your characters from the backgrounds but also to optimize the level of detail you need to produce on each shot. Nothing contributes to the cinematic look like shallow (but motivated) DOF.
3D as 2D - creating 3D assets that are rendered and used as 2D elements is great way to massively improve your looks but also streamline a lot of the complex animation objects such as rigid bodies (vehicles, gadgets, robots, etc.), gadgets and effects.
Effects Design - particle simulations and physics are pretty powerful tools for effects, but the problem is they don’t look 2D at all. That’s why set aside extra time to design and prepare effects that are not only reusable in different situations but also fit in the visual aesthetic of the show.
Lighting, Mood & Color Grade - standard live-action grading techniques are somewhat unpopular when it comes down to 2D animation but we think this shouldn’t be the case. By using mood lights, selections and color correction tools it is quite easy to lift your final look to a whole new level.
The agile development process has won its place in the lineup of most modern and effective toolkits, transforming industries such as IT but has stayed relatively unknown when it comes down to filmmaking.
We are keen to change that and bring animation production to the next level using the agile development techniques. We believe this can speed up the process, reduce waste and improve creative results significantly.
(1st - 2nd week)
In this initial stage we put together all of the assets on the timeline, keyframe the 3D camera and layout the backgrounds on the Z axis to make sure that whatever shot movement we have there will be satisfying depth and appropriate blocking in the shot.
(3rd - 4th week)
In this stage we add up all the compositing elements that are needed to achieve the look & feel defined by the art department.
The beautification stage consist of lighting, effects, atmospherics and color grading.
In the final phase of the post-production process we rigorously examine everything frame by frame and smooth out bugs, errors and optimize problematic areas to achieve faster rendering times and a perfect final picture.
(*) sample is based on an episode/segment with a duration of 5:30 min
An effective post-production workflow should start as early as designing your pipeline. We are here to help you figure out not just the best workflow for your show but also lay a solid foundation out for maximizing production value once you get to the compositing phase.
This early step is crucial in mitigating overspending and managing high expectations for the final imagery.
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WHAT PEOPLE SAY
"They listen carefully, make strong efforts to understand all the aspects of a product and the underlying business, take the creative lead and manage to boil down a product to its core values, and eventually execute a perfect video. Besides, they are also great guys that are a lot of fun to work with."
- Niklas Herriger, Gondola