Butch Hartman's The Fairly OddParents is one of the longest running series at Nickelodeon. Being able to have the opportunity to work with Butch and his crew is one of my favorite Nickelodeon career highlights.
FOP has several specials that utilized more cg work than the usual episodes and working on these are always fun because they each have their own unique creative and technical challenges.
Channel Chasers is the first FOP movie event and there was going to be a significant amount of cg throughout the hour long special. At the time, I was the only person at the studio doing 3d so my generalist skillset was really crucial considering the variety of work in the special.
In the show Timmy can travel between television shows via the Televerse. The Televerse consists of a bunch of tvs with random channel numbers, clip art, stills from other Butch Hartman projects and just to change things up, photos of his crew and family.
One of the shows that Timmy, Wanda, Cosmo and adult Timmy escape to is a parody of the NickJr show Blue's Clues. In this world the show is Clint's Hints. Animation was done in AfterEffects.
My favorite sequence in Channel Chasers is when Timmy, Wanda, Cosmo and adult Timmy escape to a parody of the Rankin and Bass Christmas special. This sequence was a lot of fun to work on because, as a generalist, I was responsible for everything. I got to model a little, work on texturing and lighting and also rig and animate.
Jimmy Timmy 3:Rise of the JerkinatorsFor the third Jimmy Neutron-The Fairly OddParents special, Butch wanted to do something different from the previous two specials. In the previous two they crossed over each character into the other's animation style. Jimmy Neutron was drawn in the Butch Hartman style and Timmy Turner became a resident of Retroville. The challenge for the third special was to find a way to mix the two animation styles, traditional and cg, together. This would let us combine what's great about 2d animation, the hand crafted organic qualities, with the dimensional qualities of 3d. What I came up with was a way to dynamically add thickness to the animation over time. This setup is able to account for animation revisions from the overseas studio and easy to apply as there were going to be hundreds of frames of animation across multiple characters and scenes. To make this process work I provided the overseas studio with instructions on how I needed the footage to be setup and delivered. The 2D animation couldn't follow the typical 2D layout process.
Butch Hartman's 2D style sometimes presents challenges when converting it to 3D. The Eliminators were one of these instances. Butchs characters have a mix of a profile and three quarter view at the same time. The challenge in making his designs in 3d is being able to create the shapes that are indicative of Butch's style while successfully working in 3d space. Fortunately, Butch and the Art Director, George Goodchild, are always receptive to design adjustments during the cg process.Mouse over the image to see the gray shade model of the Eliminator.
The Darkness cloud character was created by Andrea Yomtob from only a couple of pieces of artwork from the Production department. Her translation of the concept art to a 3d character is one of the best things the department has created in my opinion.
So much work had been done to make the Eliminators and The Darkness in 3D, it only made sense to keep going and do the same for the Rock Guardian. One of the great things about leading a team comprised of generalists is that no matter what comes up, I know we can generate the necessary content.