Disney XD’s Motorcity Firing On All Cylinders

disney xd motorcityTitmouse is nearly set to roll-out their latest production model – Motorcity. This turbo-charged series premieres on Disney XD on April 30th at 9pm ET/PT, and it looks like a hit in the making.

The team has set a new bar for Flash character animation. While Titmouse is employing “re-use” techniques, you’d never know it, as the animation so full and fluid. There’s certainly a lot of drawing mileage going into each and every shot, and the facial acting is really elaborate and engaging. Of course, Flash isn’t the only tool being employed – the Titmouse team is using After Effects, Maya and Photoshop as well. Here’s a few shots from the show:


The Titmouse crew went into overdrive on the tech side too, creating proprietary Flash plug-ins and scripts to lubricate the production pipeline. For instance, here’s the ‘Facinator’ plug-in that allows an animator to quickly select a head position from a wide array of angles, somewhat mimicking a CG rig. The plug-in, which was built by Justin Putney @ Ajar, is displayed around the 1-minute mark:

If you can’t wait until the 30th, you can go see the first episode over on iTunes, and there’s also a free iPad/iPhone game.

10 Comments

  1. mikeroush April 27, 2012

    Thanks Aaron for putting this stuff up. Just wanted everyone to know that this stuff was done by the ultra-talented, Supervisor Animator, Allison Craig.

  2. Steve K. April 27, 2012

    What Mike said!

  3. allisonc April 27, 2012

    haha thanks you two. :) Jeremy Polgar and Kyu Bum Lee can claim the beginning and end clips!!

  4. Will Titmouse make this plug in available outside of their studio? The rigging technique isn’t new to me, but being able to manipulate it so seemlessly through a plugin like that is pretty incredible. They really are Flash Animation pioneers there.

  5. YEAH! What Steve K. Said!

  6. Hi John and Dave,

    The Facinator extension was contracted by Titmouse directly and built specifically for their pipeline.

    An incredible amount of work goes into their character design. I think it’s unlikely this would translate into a public tool, but I do also create publicly available tools:
    http://ajarproductions.com/blog/flash-extensions/

    You can also submit requests:
    http://www.ajarproductions.com/blog/extension-requests/

    Justin Putney
    Partner, Ajar Productions

  7. Wow! This is awesome stuff! I was wondering though… I know the animation is done in Flash, but how are the lines done? Do you guys use custom brushes and build the character in Illustrator then import them into Flash?

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  2. [...] (4/27): Cold Hard Flash just posted a story about Motor City and Titmouse’s animation pipeline which includes a video preview of one of [...]

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