'It is a brilliant; easy to use software, with a straight forward User interface. Working closely with the developers has enabled us to get exactly what we want.The ability to animate whilst looking at a high resolution image enables us to select and view an image region, so that we can create really detailed character animation. It’s an ideal workflow for HD and feature film production.'
'I really appreciate the compact size of the camera, it enables us to access locations in the set which we were not previously able to do. The ability to instantly view, really high quality images at full resolution is fantastic and I find the built in primary grading tools really useful. This system gives me real image confidence!'
From the very beginning, I wanted to produce the “Rupert the Bear - Follow the Magic” series in High Definition using a digital format. We are always keen to adopt new technology in our productions and stay one step ahead of our competitors. Although the series is being delivered in standard definition for broadcast, we are currently in the process of producing fifty-two, ten minute episodes shot in HD using the Digimator system developed by Eyebrid Blaze.
We've purchased eight Digimator systems to populate one of our studios; although we anticipated that a change in technology culture would create challenges we found the presales consultancy from Eyebrid Blaze to be really valuable. By adopting the workflow model they proposed we were able to develop an effective production pipeline with confidence. Testing the system before purchase enabled us to understand its potential and gain a clear idea of how it could be used; this helped us define the creative inspiration and adopt stylistic approach to the production.
I wanted to let the audience feel that they were looking in at Nutwood; the compact size of the camera enabled us to establish a point of view which was always at stage level. Rupert is eight inches high and everything is scaled around him; it’s small compared to other productions and we knew that we would have to improve the quality of the puppets and the sets due to the fact that we were working at a larger image resolution. But I also knew that this resolution could be used to our advantage by introducing a “scan and pan” camera move policy as a post-production effect; a demand born out of my design for the series.
In the past we’ve found that shooting with live Action cameras limited depth of field. The Digimator system delivers amazing depth of field, and as a result, we were able to integrate the puppets with CGI-generated elements to establish acute control over the perceived depth and scale of each scene. The style of the show works with technology and, just as multi-plane cameras builds on layers, we worked with Flix Facilities on all the compositing and finishing effects using Avid DS and DS Assist. The result is that we now think way beyond what we were able to do before; Digimator has set us a new standard!
Introducing new technology always causes disruption, but the learning curve was worth it when the end result is experienced. Production schedules do not permit extra time to explore the system’s full potential, but I believe the Digimator system has a lot more to offer. The initial hurdles associated to the change in technology culture for both the animation and the technical team have been ironed out. We have developed as we’ve progressed, Cosgrove Hall Films and Eyebrid Blaze have worked well together.
As a company we like to listen to new talent, embrace innovation and give people with great ideas a chance. We have a dedicated and hard-working team and we demand the best in all aspects of our productions. This system works well for us. In view of their small, focused and accessible team we were confident that Eyebrid Blaze would work with us on a personal basis. They developed features on demand which is less likely to happen when working with larger companies. The fact that Eyebrid Blaze has a film-making portfolio only added to the belief and reassurance that they would offer insight into the intricacy of our industry.
Cosgrove Hall Films has delivered Entertainment Rights a great product, but only time will tell, if “Rupert the Bear – Follow the Magic” will become the evergreen series which all the positive feedback to date suggests. In the short-term however, our company has progressed, we plan to work in 4K in the future and the Digimator system offers us the potential to achieve this. We would purchase and equip more studios with Digimator systems without hesitation.