Impossible television has used super-charged PCs to complete a satirical animation pilot, Pen Monkeys, for Channel 4 in just five days, writes Will Strauss.
Although some pre-production took place, the company wrote, animated, voiced, rendered and off-lined the 30-minute show in less than a week, ready to air last Saturday (27 January) at 01.00.'We spent two and a half weeks building characters and sets before the production week,' explained programme producer Peter Scott. 'And the whole project was done on PCs with dual 800 processors.'We used some quite revolutionary techniques. We wrote plug-ins and small programs to automate some of the trickier processes, such as automatic lipsyncing and blinking. And we used 3D packages to make 2D animation,' Scott added.The animation team, typically used to completing around 60 seconds of animation a day each, was asked to up its productivity rate to finish the project in the short time span.Six full-time animators and a large team of writers worked on the project with Scott.Impossible Television is in negotiations with C4 for a follow up to the Pen Monkeys pilot.