HOW STUDIO DISTRACT DEVELOPED A GREAT KID’S TV SHOW BASED ON A WONDERFUL CHILDREN’S BOOK
We came across the property in its book form. We instantly fell in love with it. The potential of two opposing characters coming together is always fun. It’s a story full of character and heart, the perfect combination for our studio.
The first step in our development process was to contact the creator/author of the book James Burks. Here is a hugely talented guy who has worked for Warner Brothers feature animation, Disney feature animation and Nickelodeon.
He’d worked on films such as Space Jam, The Iron Giant, The Emperor’s New Groove, Atlantis and Treasure Planet. He’d also worked on TV shows such as Wow Wow Wubbzy, Dinosaur Train and most recently Fanboy and Chum Chum. So imagine our delight and excitement when James agreed that we could develop the property!
Gabby and Gator is a show about two seemingly opposite characters forging a partnership. Gabby wants to save the planet, she’s a vegetarian, she recycles, she cares. Gator likes to eat meat, whether that’s the neighbour’s dog or the neighbour themselves!
He doesn’t mean to, that’s just how it is. Neither have friends but see that in each other they could have. Gabby finds a friend to assist in saving the planet and Gator finds a friend who isn’t going to judge him for being different.
For this project we began with the character and environment of James Burks’ book. From here we created everything in 3D, which was then animated and rendered.
Re-Branding for TV
We worked on re-branding the Gabby and Gator property for use on screens and products moving forward when further expanding the greater brand.
A New Logo
Although the branding for the book worked fine for its publishing purposes, we felt that on screen there was need for a rethink. We needed a logo that was more compact and would work well across multiple formats. After multiple design explorations we were happy to settle on a logo that would sit well next to its contemporaries.
Re-designing The Characters
Often when developing characters from 2D to 3D the translation has visual complications. Using our experience of working through this process we made certain amendments in the design to work best from all angles.
We really took advantage of squash and stretch with these characters. For the comic moments to really shine through it’s essential that we can accentuate the movements, so the rigs needed plenty of elasticity.
From 2D to 3D
Using James Burks’ wonderful illustrations from the Gabby & Gator book we tried our best to replicate images in 3D to demonstrate our visual translation and how a TV series might look.
Using James’ book illustrations as inspiration we created a large collection of promotional images. We used these to exhibit the look and style we created in our 3D direction.
The Chase Scene
One of the most exciting sequences to work on was the chase scene. We strived to create a really heightened climax to the promo and felt that if we let Floyd capture Gator it meant the stakes were raised as Gabby tried to rescue him.
The background environment in the chase scene is cylindrical and it is this that is moving, not the vehicle. This is what gives the nice curved horizon.
James Burks’ Wonderful Book
Gator has just never seemed to fit in with the other neighborhood pets…probably because he has a nasty habit of eating the other neighborhood pets. Flushed down the toilet as just a little snapper, Gator spends his days alone in the sewers…
On the streets above, little Gabby has never seemed to fit in with the other kids in town. She’d rather collect bottles and practice her tuba than gossip with the girls down at the pool, but it does get lonely being the only vegetarian on the block…
When Gabby and Gator meet, their fun and adventures prove that the best friends are those who accept you as you are, teeth and all!