So after we storyboard out an episode and all the action is blocked out we then shoot our PUPPETEERS and let them improvise as much as they like while still keeping the heart of the story.
Below you see the footage we shot on the left with the animated storyboard on the right. Our editor goes through all the footage and looks for the best takes that match what we boarded.
Once the episode is built the scenes are assigned to different animators who then ANIMATE the faces to the footage. Once the animation is complete it goes to a compositor who then marries the 2D face onto the dimensional puppet footage.
Then you after the motion tracking is applied you often end up with hilarious accidents we like to call “GLITCHES” For example here you see one of the most common “GLITCHES” we called “BIG FACE” for obvious reasons.
After we go in and hand correct all the glitches we apply some shadows and layers of grain and blur to make it look like the faces were actually part of the scene when we shot it. Here’s a shot of what the final scene build looks like.
And there you go! After a few short years you have a couple of seconds of completed CARTOON LAGOON footage! And in just a few short millennia you have a complete half hour show!