Manchester facility Hullabaloo Studios has bought an Autodesk Smoke editing and finishing system for its new video post-production arm.

The system - which will be used for animation series, commercials, episodics, promos and idents - was sold and installed by systems reseller XTFX.

It is currently being put to use on several high profile jobs, including the two children's shows Roary the Racing Car and Fifi and the Flowertots (pictured).

Hullabaloo Studios decided to expand its services in response to demand from existing clients.

“Lots of clients have been telling us for years how they wish we offered a complete post-production facility,” said Darren Cox, managing director of Hullabaloo Studios.

“The new picture arm of the business is an exciting venture for us and, with Smoke as our flagship editing system, we hope to offer the same high quality in offline and online picture editing as we do in sound.”

Before joining Hullabaloo Studios to set up the new picture department, senior editor Danny Brown had used Autodesk products for several years. “One of his key conditions in joining us was that we purchased Smoke,” said Cox. “He knew that it would fit into our proposed HD tapeless workflow and allow the facility to easily expand in the future."

Despite Brown's enthusiasm for Smoke, Hullabaloo Studios evaluated competitive offerings and also researched what the major London facilities were investing in. “At the end of the day, we felt Smoke offered everything we needed,” explained Cox.

“It has the ability to do everything in the one box - grading, keying, rig and wire removal, and the ability to create multiple files and outputs instantly. We were also impressed by the speed with which it can handle and process HD material. Another major benefit is the ease of transferring offlines from the Final Cuts to the Smoke using the XML file interchange.”

XTFX worked with Hullabaloo Studios to design its HD file based workflow - which also includes two Final Cut Studio suites, a Sledgehammer server, networking, back up and infrastructure - as well as supplying the equipment and building the new facility.

“These other systems allow the whole facility to be networked together, linking both picture suites and audio studios, and providing quick and easy transfer of media and files,” said Cox.

Hullabaloo Studios' other credits include Terry Pratchett's Discworld (Channel 4) and Gerry Anderson's Lavender Castle (ITV).