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History/Top Gear promo, "Unite"

By

Robert Goldrich
Friday, Apr. 1, 2016

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This animated promo for the new season of Top Gear on History gets its inspiration from classic 1980s’ cartoons like ThunderCats and G.I. Joe.

The team at L.A. studio Roger, led by creative director Dane Macbeth, worked closely with History’s brand creative Matthew Neary to develop the :30 spot. Beyond just getting the look of each character right with a Saturday morning cartoon feel, it was important that the personalities of Top Gear stars--Adam Ferrara, Rutledge Wood and Tanner Foust--came through in the piece.

In an effort to stay true to the cartoons that inspired the project, the animators avoided the use of 3D and instead utilized cel animation, 2D animation and matte paintings to create the action, characters and backgrounds of the piece. While the animation methods stayed traditional, the storyboarding process got a 21st century twist with the integration of GIFs. Using GIFs from the openings of classic cartoons for source material, Roger was able to storyboard an animated version of the entire sequence. This allowed them to really dig into the different animation techniques used in those classic cartoons.

Credits

Visual Effects/Animation: Roger, Los Angeles Dane Macbeth, creative director; Josh Libitsky, exec producer; Brandon Stevenson, producer; Evan Yarbrough, MK Fabila, designers; Jake Portman, animation lead/art director/2D animator; Alan Foreman, Jamal Otolorn, Matt Everton, Lyuben Dimitrov, 2D animators; Brad Arnold, storyboard artist. (Toolbox: Adobe Creative Cloud, Illustrator, Photoshop, After Effects, Flash, Maya--to generate reference sequences for drawn frames) Agency: History, New York; Production: Roger, Los Angeles Dane Macbeth, director

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