Definition February 2021 - Web


W ith no live-action shoots possible because of coronavirus-related safety concerns, animation and special effects teams are still able to continue productively via physical distancing. This proved to be an advantage when it came to Warner Bros’ live-action/ animated Tom & Jerry film because, while filming for the hybrid was completed before Covid-19 restrictions were put into place, the iconic Hanna-Barbera characters were brought to life by Framestore animators throughout 2020. Animation planning for the feature began at the tail end of 2019, with the animators – who were based in London and Montreal – set to work in-house. “It was business as usual, with our core teams developing rigs, exploring animation styles and working on pre-vis,” explains Kayn Garcia, animation supervisor at

Framestore London. “By the start of 2020, we had produced a test sequence set for CinemaCon, which was a great exercise to discover what was and wasn’t working. This brought to light certain issues and we went back to the drawing board, pushing our designs and rigs in pursuit of capturing the classic with a modern twist.” Garcia took a family holiday to Thailand just before he and his team were about to dive head first into the production shot work. But then, the pandemic hit. “Framestore had already started the transition to working from home before I got home – on the day that I arrived back in London, the systems team had my set-up packed up and on my doorstep,” he recalls. Framestore’s proactive approach to moving the teams to working from home was inspiring, but no mean feat – the IT departments worked day and night to get the animators connected to the company’s servers and infrastructure. “It took two weeks, from us leaving the office, to having a fully functional team working from home,” notes Aulo Licinio, animation supervisor at Framestore Montreal. “We were already in a good place with the models and rigs by this time, but some polishing over the subsequent months was needed and all animation to final comp was done from home,” he adds. DIGITAL WORKFLOW In order to do this, it was important that a solid digital workflow was put into place, as Garcia explains. “Everyone was remotely set up to Framestore’s servers and infrastructure with Teradici or Remote Graphics Software (RGS), where we could seamlessly access everything as if we were

It took two weeks from leaving the office to having a functional teamworking from home

LEFT AND ABOVE It took 120 animators, working in London and Montreal, to bring Tom & Jerry to life


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