Face the face: Here the Foundation animators use a video tape of themselves lip-syncing the lines to get the proper timing on character lip-sync and expressions.
Rogues Gallery: Instead of relying on character sketches, Foundation had Sony take pictures of employees that matched what they had in mind for the characters' facial features. Using these as a starting point, the Foundation animators are able to create a wide variety of characters.
"Even though it's been a [difficult project], Richard [Raynis, the Executive producer of the show for Sony] wants it to be everything that we want to be," said Scheetz. "It's really cool to have someone care enough to do whatever they can to make the show everything it can be. This leaves us free to create the kind of shows that we both want to do."
Even Foundation's network system reflects its off-the-shelf technology philosophy. Instead of using a custom Fibre channel network system, Foundation uses four Ethernet ports on a single card, with all the ports working in parallel on each machine using a switching hub that can recognize this output stream; according to Bryant the actual throughput is pretty close to fibre channel. Ultimately, Foundation takes a very hands-off approach to new technology. "We are extremely conservative when it comes to technology," said Bryant. "We'd rather work with lots of extremely low-cost technology [hardware] than a few pieces of high-performance technology that is extremely delicate."
Adding to the production arsenal are two video edit bays and a sound editing department. Basically all the animations are constructed as animatic reels on an in-sync Speed Razor system. This enables the team to slug in shots as they go, and give quick comps to Sony at all stages of the production.