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HA cool cast of kids explore oddball happenings in their apartment building in Nick’s most-recent animated series,
ome is where the weird is — at least it is at a New York City apartment building called the Wayne, which is the setting for Nickelodeon’s newest animated series.
Created and written by Emmy Awardwinning writer and composer Billy Lopez ( Wonder Pets!, Phineas and Ferb), Welcome to the Wayne premieres its 20-episode first season July 24. Originating as Nick’s first web-exclusive series, Welcome to the Wayne follows the adventures of Olly Timbers (voiced by Lopez), his sister Saraline, and their pal Ansi Molina, as they explore the crazy, unpredictable world of the Wayne.
Lopez says he imagined having a lot of adventures in the New York City apartment buildings he lived in as a kid. “I wasn’t nearly as adventurous as the kids in the Wayne,” he says. “But I loved imagining adventures that could take place in the buildings I lived in. I’d come home and stroll through my lobby pretending I was heading off to my secret, after-school job of monster-slaying.”
The show’s web version informed Lopez’s approach to making the TV series. “I knew the full-length show had to be serialized, meaning each episode had to directly follow the previous one in terms of its overarcing story, but it was a creative struggle to ensure that a viewer could tune in at any random episode and not feel lost or confused,” he says. “In the Corazon and Otto Octavius.
While the emotional heart of the show evokes the original 1960s Spider-Man comics by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko, Marvel’s SpiderMan is firmly set in the present, says Marsha Griffin, VP of Current Series and Development at Marvel Animation Studios.
Keeping it light is showrunner Kevin Shinick, whose animation credits include Robot Chicken and MAD. “He brings a complete, fresh comedic take that I haven’t seen before in all my years of working on animated series,” says Griffin. “Even while we’re talking about the darkest things … we’re still infusing every bit of it with humor in order to give it a lightness and just it’s just a fun ride.” [
Six Point Harness brings Canadian animator Myles Langlois’ homemade comedy action series to Adult Swim. By Tom McLean.
Six Point Harness president Brendan Burch remembers very clearly the moment he first saw on YouTube Canadian animator Myles Langlois’ homemade animated web series Apollo Gauntlet. “I had to watch it twice because I was just wiping my eyes crying and laughing, it was so good,” says Burch.
Having teamed Six Point Harness with Chris Prynoski’s Titmouse to launch in 2012 an online channel called Rug Burn, Burch says Apollo Gauntlet was too good an idea to just help get views online, so he tracked down Langlois, whose initial reaction was less than enthusiastic. “I don’t know his exact words, but he goes, ‘If it’s all the same to you, I’d just as soon I never animate again,’” says Burch. “I remember immediately sort of loving him and his candor.”
The series was created completely by Langlois — at the time working on a potato farm in Brandon, Manitoba — simply because he wanted to create something “as a premise.” He created the entire original web series himself, learning to animate — and using a mouse to do it — and do all the rest of it as he went.
Five years later, Apollo Gauntlet has undergone a transformation into an Adult Swim series that debuted its entire first season July 7 on the network’s website, with its TV premiere following two days later.
This is an all-new version of Apollo Gauntlet, reworked and written by Langlois with help from 6PH and the support of parent company Mondo. Apollo Gauntlet tells the tale of Paul Cassidy, a police officer from Winnipeg, Canada, who pursues a suspect into a fantastic dimension where he acquires a powerful pair of talking gauntlets with which to fight the evil Dr. Benign and Corporal Vile. With help from some newfound allies, Apollo Gauntlet assumes the role of champion of this strange world, gently cracking wise the entire time and fighting crime in his uniquely Canadian way.
The show reflects the personality and taste of creator Langlois, who wrote the entire show and voices both Apollo Gauntlet and the villainous Corporal Vile with a mild but unmistakable Canadian accent. “I’m always trying to hide my accent when I’m doing my voice but it’s impossible,” says Langlois. “There’s always a little bit in there.”
Among the changes from the original series is the addition of a supporting cast of characters, most of which Langlois fleshed out based on the actors who were cast in those roles. The new version also has better backgrounds, which have a washed out painted style, paying homage to He- Man, a childhood favorite show for Langlois.
What’s important to Langlois was to give the show a focus — no matter how weird — and to reflect some kind of positive outlook. “(Apollo is) flawed, but he has a moral compass and he’s trying to fight villains,” says Langlois. “I think there’s so many easy jokes to be made at the expense of others and I really am not into that.”
With Langlois writing from Canada, most of the pre-production work was done at 6PH’s studio in Los Angeles, with Anima Studios in Mexico handling the animation.
“Our biggest challenge was to take Myles’s vision and spread it out over a large team and keep it as uncompromised and pure as we possibly could while at the same time making it elevated as far as using people’s talents and making it more TV ready than the web show originally was,” says Greg Franklin, 6PH’s creative director and supervising director on Apollo Gauntlet.
Burch says Apollo helps 6PH establish its brand as a studio that can take short form internet content and develop it into successful series or features, as it previously did with its hit Dick Figures series and movie.
As for the future of the show, like a second season order, Langlois is typically pessimistic. “I don’t think that far ahead,” he says. “I’m optimistic in some ways but in careers I always think, Well, we’ll see what happens.’” Apollo Gauntlet would likely agree. [
Overseeing the World Animation Celebration these past three years and carrying the torch to a new generation of animators has been a huge responsibly and milestone. There has always been a need for an international animation festival in Los Angeles, but local support has been a challenge. I wanted the festival to encompass everything for animation; new projects, emerging artists, panels, speakers and awards. My goal was to create an event where students and graduates could talk to professionals, schools could showcase their students’ work, studios could talk about their new talent. I am thrilled to see that we have realized our goals in such a short time.
- ining The World Animation Celebration to Jean Thoren President of Animation Maga - ties and roadblocks of launching an international animation festival without government help and little industry support. However, throughout my day-to-day teaching, I saw the need for my students to have a place and receive the recognition for their work by professionals and peers. I pushed forward and convinced Jean that this needed to be done. There are so many animation fans as well as artists, and schools so now we have a place where once a year everyone can join in the celebration. With the kind support of Sony Pictures Animation, graciously hosting the event for the second year, we can realize my vision to create a world class event. Our festival has had a great impact on artists and students and the journey that they are on, and I’ve been very proud to be part of that.
This animation festival works hand in hand with my original vision for Animation Libation Studios, which thrives to bridge the gap between college graduates with degrees and portfolios in hand, so they could go out and land a job in the industry with experience. As an animation professor teaching at several local colleges around Los Angeles for over a decade, I’ve witnessed the struggles students go through and the need for new opportunities to be created for their success. Animation Libation Studios evolved by developing small production teams and working on short projects. Mentorship is a vital part of our core philosophy. Creating new original animated content and fostering emerging talent by creating opportunities to gain studio experience beyond the classroom.
As our studio expanded and started working on bigger projects, we adapted the size of the project. Slope of the Curve, - tion has taken over jobs, was one of our
SIGGRAPH is making plenty of room for the burgeoning field of virtual reality in the 44th edition of its International Conference and Exhibition on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques, running July 30-Aug. 3 at the Los Angeles Convention Center.
This year’s conference has expanded the VR Village, which with 21 installations will take up the most floor space of any venue in the exhibition hall. VR also has been added to the iconic Computer Animation Festival, which will offer 10 projects in a VR Theater section in addition to the Electronic Theater.
SIGGRAPH program chair Jerome Solomon says he’s worked on improving the attendee experience by adding things like greeters to welcome people as they enter the show. He also thinks attendees will really like this year’s SIGGRAPH mug, which has been redesigned to resemble a teapot.
The conference’s connections with animation and VFX also are on display, with a production art gallery that will feature movie props, concept art and physical artwork from various studios, including Sony and Marvel.
And there will be a drawing class where the model is a live giraffe named Tiny.
Solomon also is excited about a panel with a visual effects studio from Syria. “They are going to drive from Damascus to Lebanon — Beirut — and join us via Skype,” says Solomon. “One of their founders actually is in New York and he’s going to fly out and join us in Los Angeles and their panel is going to focus on doing visual effects in basically a war zone.”
Keynote: Floyd Norman Animators and fans of animation most likely know who Floyd Norman is. But for those SIGGRAPH attendees who don’t know about this iconic animator, this year’s keynote session is the ideal opportunity to learn all about Floyd Norman from the man himself. The keynote will be held in a fireside chat format, in which Norman will discuss his career from its start in the 1950s as Disney’s first African-American animator, to working with Walt Disney himself on films such as 101 Dalmatians and The Jungle
ReBoot was one of the most innovative and popular animated series of the 1990s, being one of the first to bring CG animation to TV. Now, Rainmaker is bringing back the popular series and once again pushing the envelope when it comes to technical innovation by using Epic Games’ Unreal Engine to make the upcoming series ReBoot: The Guardian Code.
The Vancouver-based Rainmaker produced the original series, which aired from 1994 to 2001, and has several times attempted to bring it back. The current version — in production now for an expected 2018 launch — got started in 2013 shortly after the hiring of president and chief creative officer Michael Hefferon, whose idea was to take the inspirational and aspirational example of the original series to come up with a version that would work with today’s audiences.
“It was maybe the first-ever CG animated series for TV, in 1994, and it was based on a concept that worked back in those days,” says Hefferon. “Computing was limiting, you had mainframe computers and even the internet was kind of limiting back then.”
ReBoot: The Guardian Code evolved based on today’s world of apps, constant connection and cyber attacks into a tale of four heroic kids with the ability to enter cyberspace and defend it from various threats like the Sorcerer and, in a blast from the past, Megabyte.
The real-world elements are done in live action, with the cyberspace elements animated using a pipeline that incorporates animation from Maya with world building that uses the Unreal Engine to quickly create a vast and stylish setting for the series to play out against.
The Maya pipeline is used for modeling, human and environment; rigging; layout and animation. The result is then imported to the Unreal Engine for what Rainmaker calls world construction; surfacing; A.I. animation elements; effects; lighting; and rendering, including the ability to output to 4K resolution.
In Constant Motion “The cool thing about Unreal is our ability to constantly have things moving,” says Hefferon. “So our locations can constantly have elements to them that move, float and it gives us a great vastness for the size and scale of the worlds that we create.” [
Panel and Booth s a long-time exhibitor and supporter of Comic-Con, Animation Magazine is proud to bring the celebration of its 30th anniversary to San Diego for a special hourlong panel event set for Saturday, July 22, at 4:30 p.m. In Room 24ABC. Here’s the scoop:
ATurns 30! Launched in 1987, Animation Magazine has been the definitive voice of the art, business, and technology of animation and VFX as those industries have grown from tiny niches into global phenomena. Join publisher/president/co-founder Jean Thoren and some surprise special guests in this look at how much the magazine and the art forms it covers have changed over the past three decades.
And, as always, swing by Booth 1533 to say hi to the staff and pick up some goodies. [
With 39 events conceived by festival director Federico Fiecconi held June 22-24 in Bergamo, Italy, the BergamoTOONS Festival successfully delivered its first edition filled with free symposiums, film-screenings, happenings and exhibitions dedicated to animated films, registering an impressive 400-plus international press reviews.
The common theme of the event has been humor, through screenings of a variety of funny and feel-good animated films. This is a characteristic trait of the animations of Bruno Bozzetto, the acclaimed director and cartoonist who serves as honorary chairman of the BergamoTOONS association.
The program included a cocktail party celebrating the 30th anniversary of Animation Magazine, attended by its publisher, Jean Thoren, who served as the opening panelist of the BergamoTOONS conferences.
David Silverman, who 30 years ago brought