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2.5D : Angry Birds Summer Madness

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“Angry Birds: Summer Madness” © Rovio Entertainment Corporation. Shots courtesy of Cake Entertainment & Yowza Animation. No ownership claimed or implied.

Oh the irony that in the mid 2000s I started a band in Montreal called “The Angry Parrots” only to wind up working on the “Angry Birds Summer Madness” animated show. Fortunately our EP was released and the band disbanded just as the Angry Birds game gained cultural traction or else I’d have a lot of explaining to do every time someone asked me about the band name.

As soon as the pandemic dropped and Mavericks ran out of work for me I figured I’d take a few months off to re-assess where I was creatively three days later I got a call from Janice Walker asking if I wanted a job, I couldn’t say no because this job was in tomb, boom Harmony in the children’s animation sector which I’d always wanted to which I’d flirted with but always wanted to break into and it was a research job. It was I was developing a 2 1/2 D lighting system from scratch That needed to be production ready and sustainable that needed to be production ready and sustainable.

With the tears and sweat of my team of incredibly patient and talented artist, we managed to reach that goal and surpass it. The animated feature Klaus had just come out with its incredible dimensionalize ation of characters, so the bar was set rather high. I like to refer to our final system as “dollar store Klaus”. There was nothing shotty about the process as delivered however, the first three episodes were incredibly difficult to produce. After a few significant technical breakthroughs in the pipeline we were able to glide through the remaining episodes with relative ease. The hardest part was getting the limbs to join the bodies correctly and also when two of the two more characters would interact with each other and with props, the Larry, the Z flaring became a huge challenge.

I finally applied the knowledge I had from the FX rep projection to getting the lighting applied while respecting the Z layers the Z stack layers. No actual lighting no virtual lighting was used. No virtual lighting or 3-D techniques were used in the production of this effect. You can think of it as more into a digital analogy of airbrushing, we use the outlines of each character and prop as a mask which was offset and soft variations in colour added to give the illusion of depth. This is the overall aesthetic was designed by our Director Geoffrey Timmins, and my personal contribution to the aesthetic look was to add, a slightly darker edge to the highlights to give the birds a bit of gloss and make them pop just like you would if you were airbrushing and illustration of them. We got to know these characters quite intimately, and it was a sad day when the series ended, and we dispersed to our, we dispersed back into the artistic Jean pool and the team dispersed back into the artistic gene pool I hope to get to work with all of them again someday

The hardest part was getting the limbs to join the bodies correctly and also when two of the two more characters would interact with each other