Bryant by the Mighty Render Farm at Foundation Imaging. At any given
time, an animation can draw up to 300 CPUs to parallel process their
Foundation built its own supercharged render PCs onto particle boards using standard PC components. The cost? Just $900 per dual CPU machine.
3D in a 2D World
"Ultimately it was very cause-and-effect: the more [Troopers] was treated as a 2D show, the more it ground to a halt. The more we said "Trust us" -- and they did -- the faster the process became, to the point where [Sony] would give us the design style or theme, and we'd actually do the hard design work. You'll notice in later shows that Sony designers are actually credited as "Design Consultants." Because you can't make a drawing of a sculpture. Once [the Sony team] got their head around this concept, then the process just literally took off."
Foundation's approach to the facial design mirrored this reality versus 2D stylized approach. "We said, 'Look, I'll tell you what. Why don't you go around your office, right, and take photographs of people that are what you imagined the characters would look like,' " said Bryant. "Then we basically use that as the source for the character design."
One of the great breakthroughs in doing this kind of animation program is the clean interaction between the producers [Sony] and the production house [Foundation]."Sony gives us storyboards and scripts, as well as some model design," said Jeff Scheetz, the animation producer for "Starship Troopers," who runs the day-to-day operations for the project. "Once completed, we send our model designs back to Sony for approvals and feedback. And then we produce a show and send it back to them. Ultimately [Sony] gives us quite a bit of room to add touches to the show to make it better."