Using Toon Boom Storyboard Pro and Harmony, Oasis Animation produced the new animated series, Les Grandes Gueules s'animent! inspired by radio comedians and their famous characters that have been entertaining Quebec listeners for over 20 years.
Montreal-based Oasis Animation recently produced the new animated series (26 half hours) Les Grandes Gueules s'animent!. The season first aired on September 2, 2015 on Télétoon la Nuit, and the series features the incomparable duo Les Grandes Gueules (Mario Tessier and José Gaudet) accompanied by their sidekick of the last 15 years, Richard Turcotte. Also adapted into English as Two nuts and a Richard!, the English version is set to air on Adult Swim Canada, at 11:00 p.m., as of October 16, 2015.
Les Grandes Gueules s'animent! was no ordinary animation production. "The challenge was to adapt a radio show to animation with characters that were already well known to their fans," said Diane Dallaire, VP of Production at Oasis. "We also wanted to bring the high energy of the radio show into the animated series."
Oasis repurposed existing sketches of the radio characters and integrated them into new stories and adventures. "This had its own set of challenges as we needed the radio clips to fit seamlessly into the new stories while maintaining the natural energy of the radio show."
"Mario, José and Richard have incredible talent, and their 20 years of doing daily radio shows honed their improvisation skills. We had to integrate this approach during the recording sessions and adapt the scripts afterwards. Although a challenge for the production pipeline, it gave us a better fluidity in the dialogue delivery."
Another added step was that after the animatics were assembled, the team would then go back into them to punch up the dialogues and visual jokes. This meant having to go back and create new designs or record new dialogue lines, which then required an additional pass at the animatic stage.
"The beauty of Storyboard Pro is that you have your audio with your storyboard – so whenever you need to make a change, whatever the change, it's all integrated into one very flexible boarding tool. It's also a great tool for the reuse of assets. Also, our proprietary asset and production management system was pivotal in that it enabled us to maximize our pipeline by tracking the assets and the timeline, as well as the many changes in real time, at every stage of production."
With more than a hundred Quebec artists working on the series, Les Grandes Gueules s'animent! was produced using paperless-to-cut-out animation. Harmony enabled Oasis to keep the production moving along at a fast pace.
"By combining different effect nodes like cutters, colour overrides and deformers in Harmony, we were able to increase our animators' productivity. For instance, the cutters allowed us to create rigs that reduced the amount of redrawing for our animators. And the deformers contributed to the snappy and pose-to-pose animation style."
As producer and service provider, Oasis Animation needs its production pipeline to be flexible and efficient.
"Harmony's many tools increased the efficiency of our pipeline. The bitmap brush was a huge asset for the colour backgrounds. The ability to use four layers in one image meant saving time at every stage of production."
The first season of Les Grandes Gueules s'animent! includes thirteen 22-minute episodes and airs Wednesday nights at 10 p.m. on Teletoon La Nuit. The English version, Two Nuts and a Richard! airs on Adult Swim Canada at 11:00 p.m. as of October 16, 2015.
Besides producing Les Grandes Gueules s’animent!, Oasis Animation produced two seasons of the unforgettable series Pérusse Cité. This much-loved comedy and winner of two Gémeaux awards in 2012 and 2014 was created by François Pérusse and aired on Radio-Canada and ARTV.
Oasis Animation also participated in the production of more than 160 half hours of animation in collaboration with international producers and broadcasters on series such as Martha Speaks (PBS); Lucky Fred (Imira Entertainment, Disney Europe); Arthur and Caillou (Cookie Jar Entertainment); 6teen (Fresh TV); Mouss et Boubidi (Radio-Canada, France Télévision); Walter et Tandoori (Corporation Image Entertainment); Stand-Up.TV (TQS) as well as On s'écoute parler (Zéro Musique, TVA).