Kappa Studios, Inc. Brings Cartoon Network's Annoying Orange to Life
03 February 2014

With episode titles like "The Hungry Games," "Grape Expectations," and "Iron Apple," Annoying Orange — a cartoon featuring a motley, pun-filled crew of fruit with live action mouths and eyes — doesn't take itself too seriously. Its creation, however, is serious business for Kappa Studios, Inc., an award-winning, full service post-production studio based in Burbank, CA.

Patrick Francis Xavier Murphy (aka F.X. Murphy), Kappa's Animation Director/VFX Supervisor and long-time user of Boris FX products, leads the team. Each heavily VFX-laden episode runs around 11 minutes with 30 episodes per season. The team is expected to deliver one episode every five days during production.

Murphy and the team at Kappa have made great strides in the overall production value and the workflow of Annoying Orange in its two seasons since making the leap from web series to the Cartoon Network. In both cases, BCC 8 AE played a large role.

The budgetary limits of Season One led the team to think outside the box to provide the level of quality the network demanded. "During the creation of our character templates, Rick Lewis, the show's lead Artist, discovered that using BCC Spotlight added a subtle, yet extremely effective dimensionality to the characters that gave them a kind of CG render look," explains Murphy. "The look hit the mark with the Executive Producers."

Left: Original Right: BCC Spotlight added

Every episode is also filled with effects like BCC Lens Blur, BCC Particle Emitter, BCC Correct Select Color, Z- Blur and Corner Pin. The hundreds of presets within Boris Continuum Complete act as a foundation to build upon effects, allowing artists to focus less on set up and more on creativity. "The BCC filters are far more robust in terms of software intelligence, functionality, and the quality of the resulting image," states Murphy.


Annoying Orange trailer featuring Boris Continuum Complete effects

Kappa's 'One Roof' business model — all production and post under one roof — gives the team the unique opportunity to take full advantage of BCC AE. "The cross-platform capability of BCC offers efficiencies that should be exploited, specifically when moving between editorial (Premiere Pro) and VFX (After Effects). Any creative decisions made in editorial are faithfully reproduced in After Effects without the need to tweak settings in order to get things back to where they were," notes Murphy. "The process is absolutely transparent. In fact, it wasn't until we were archiving the assets at the wrap of Season One that it dawned on us just how many animation and VFX decisions were being approved in the editing room as opposed to ending up in our shot tracker."

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