Netflix gets animated with BoJack Horseman, a comic take on a washed-up former sitcom star that is the streaming service’s first original toon. By Tom McLean.
Raphael Bob-Waksberg has a love-hate relationship with the classic sitcoms like Growing Pains, Family Matters and Full House that he watched growing up.
“I really do love them while also recognizing that maybe they’re not good as pieces of art,” says Bob-Waksberg. “But I do think there’s something wonderful about the comfort foodiness of them and this idea that you do have this family that you return to every week and you know that everything’s going to be all right. There’s something magical about that and at the same time also cynical and gross. I find them very interesting.”
All of which makes it an ideal background for BoJack Horseman, which Bob-Waksberg created as Netflix’s first original animated series.
The series features Will Arnett as the voice of BoJack Horseman, half-human and halfhorse star of the hit 1990s family sitcom Horsin’ Around. Long past his prime, BoJack muddles his way through the life of a D-list celebrity in Hollywood, partaking in not-sohealthy doses of depression, self-loathing, alcohol and failed relationships. The show — set to premiere all 12 episodes Aug. 22 on Netflix — also features the voice of Breaking Bad star Aaron Paul as Todd, BoJack’s human sidekick; Amy Sedaris as Princess Carolyn, BoJack’s agent and ex-girlfriend; and Paul F. Tompkins as Mr. Peanutbutter, a half-dog actor who is much happier leading a life that echoes BoJack’s in almost every way. Arnett and Paul also are executive producers on the show.
Bob-Waksberg built the show around a horse-man character design created by his friend, comics artist Lisa Hanawalt. “There’s a lot of shows about these gleeful, hap-
Keynote: Elliot Kotek, co-founder of Not Impossible Labs Kotek’s organization uses crowd-sourcing to tackle health-care issues, giving people in need access to high-tech devices that improve their lives. Projects include: Eyewriter eye-tracking glasses’ Project Daniel: 3D Printing Prosthetic Arms for Children of War-torn Sudan; and The Brainwriter personal EEG device that can operate a computer mouse or gaming console, allowing users to write and draw as their condition deteriorates. [Monday, Aug 11., 11 a.m. with Awards Presentation] Guest Speaker, CG Pioneer Reception: Chris Edwards, CEO of The Third Floor As leader of highly regarded previsualization services company The Third Floor, Edwards will demonstrate how more than a decade of computer-aided visualization has enabled us to tell stories like never before. [Tuesday, Aug. 12, 6 p.m. | ACM SIGGRAPH Pioneers only] Panel: State of Animation Tools in the Industry, with DreamWorks’ Paul DiLorenzo, Matthew Gong and Fredrik Nilsson; Disney’s Evan Goldberg; Pixar’s Rob Jensen; Autodesk’s Martin de Lasa and Warren Trezevant; and Rhythm & Hues’ Cyrus Wilson The tech whizzes driving proprietary animation tools and tracking the advances of off-the-shelf solutions will explore new tools, key features and future trends. [Wednesday, Aug. 13, 9 a.m.]
Guardians of the Galaxy
There will be tons to check out, but here’s the key animation/VFX tech companies to scope for new product info and session schedules:
Markerless 3D and 4D surface capture systems for face and body.
Gallery exhibits and videos, art-wall featuring SketchBook artists and live SB7 showcase. Sessions Tues.-Weds.
Open source 3D suite.
V-Ray rendering software.
Launching RenderDigimania, which builds on Muvizu:Play project and ups rendering times on single PCs.
3D facial analysis/synthesis for games and animation.
VFX and animation software; Qualoth, FXHair and FluX.
Maya-integrated Golaem Crowd, recently used in Foosball. Version 3.3, offers support of blendshape and a new “additive motion” feature.
Version 4 of mocha Plus and mocha Pro.
Product demonstrations and technical presentations (rooms 208-209), prize draws.
Release of Clarisse iFX 2.0, with presentations on the software in production at Double Negative from CTO Graham Jack and CG sequence supervisor Zoe Cranley.
Illumination editing and artistic lighting control for physically-based rendering.
Cinema 4D and BodyPaint 3D. Recently launched contest site WinC4D.com, planning a major announcement.
Quadro and Tesla GPUs for graphics and parallel processing with Maximus.
Pixar Animation Studios
Demonstrating recent advances to core rendering technology RenderMan 19.
Real-time 2D/3D cinematic animation tools featuring avatar animation, facial morphing and lip-sync solutions.
Production management, review and asset management software for studio pipelines or the cloud.
Side Effects Software
3D animation and visual effects software Houdini.
Releasing SpeedTree for UE4 Subscription, demoing SpeedTree Cinema and SpeedTree Studio.
Markerless performance and motion capture systems.
CG and VFX software for multiple industries.
Particle renderer Krakatoa, particle mesher Frost, render management system Deadline and more.
3D motion capture and analysis of movement.
Pen tablet and interactive pen display technologies.