Added by on 2017-04-17

Making of Halifax Top Cat and Flintstones

The Mill – Our VFX team collaborated with adam&eveDDB​ and directors dom&nic of Outsider​ to faithfully bring back to life iconic characters from Top Cat and The Flintstones and place them in the modern world for Halifax. Go behind the scenes to see how artists used a combination of traditional methods with more modern technique to achieve an authentic re-creation.

The team carried out extensive research and worked closely with Warner to get the character designs as accurate as possible; sharing drawings back and forth and studying every detail of the animation, including poses and gestures that make up these classic characters so as to construct an authentic re-creation. Combining modern techniques with more traditional methods, the team were able to mimic the hand-drawn style of the time-honoured series by drawing the characters in to each individual frame by hand, whilst ensuring The Flintstones family appeared to seamlessly inhabit and interact with the modern world around them.

As well as focusing on adapting this retro style of animation to fit in situ – The Mill team also hand animated and colour graded the entire end sequence, where we see Fred with his new shoes taking Wilma home followed by Dino, to give it a classic aged look.

In this new campaign for Halifax, iconic childhood favourite Top Cat makes his first appearance on TV since his retirement in the 1980s. The 60-second ad sees Top Cat and sidekick Benny visiting their local Halifax branch to get help and advice in finding a new home after being evicted from their alley by arch-rival Officer Dibble.

The Mill VFX team carried out extensive research into the original Top Cat design, studying every detail of the animation, including poses and gestures that make up this classic character to achieve an authentic re-creation.

Combining traditional methods with more modern techniques, the team were able to mimic the hand-drawn style of the time-honoured series by drawing the characters in each individual frame by hand, whilst ensuring Top Cat and the gang appeared to seamlessly inhabit and interact with the modern world around them.

Head of Animation, Jorge Montiel explains; ‘The animation process started with us understanding the essence of the original cartoons. After building a library of old episodes, which we studied in detail, we were then able to start mimicking Top Cat’s body language, colours and lines.’

Executive Creative Director, Neil Davies comments; ‘This was great fun for everyone to work on, and a dream job for our animators, who were able to bring the characters to life that inspired them to start drawing so many years ago.We took great care to get every detail just right to make sure Top Cat and the gang looked and behaved just like season 1, from the bleeding of colours around edges, to textures through to expressions and animation style.

The end sequence where we return to full cartoon world was also hand drawn and animated from scratch and then given an aged look in Nuke which coupled with the iconic Top Cat theme tune takes you right back to being a kid. It’s been a real pleasure working with dom&nic and adam&eve again on this one.’

Agency

Agency: Adam & Eve DDB
TV Producer: Suzy MacGregor
Executive Creative Director: Ben Tollett
Copywriter: Jonathan John
Art Director: David Mackersey
Digital Content Producer: Marceline Le Gaufey,
Digital Content Director: Thom Greybe
Print Producer: Louisa Gray

Production

Production Company: Outsider
Director: Dom & Nic
Producer: John Madsen
Director of Photography: Tom Townend
Production Manager: Steve Elgar
Production Assistant: Tom Benkins

Colour

Colour: The Mill
Colourist: Dave ‘Luddy’ Ludlam

Editorial

Editing Company: Work Editorial
Editor: Art Jones
Editor’s Assistant: Jamie Hodgson

VFX & Design

VFX & Design: The Mill
Executive Producer: Alex Fitzgerald
Producer: Kirsty Ratcliffe
Shoot Supervisor: Neil Davies
Executive Creative Director: Neil Davies
Design Lead: Henry Foreman, Kwok Fung Lam
Head of Animation: Jorge Montiel
Animator: Freya Barnsley, Roly Edwards, Maki Yoshikura, Matt Partridge
2D Lead Artist: Georgina Ford
2D Artist: Fergal Hendrick
Digital Content Animator: Stephen Vuillemin, Maki Yoshikura, Matt Partridge
Matte Painting: Melanie Climent
Print Design: Ross Urien, Melanie Climent

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