The Game Show Network (GSN) is a multimedia entertainment company with 80 million cable tv subscribers that plays host to classic game shows including The Newlywed Game, Family Feud, and The $25,000 Pyramid and original programming including Skin Wars, Steampunk’d, and Man vs. Fly.
The talented design and animation team led by Gary Adler, VP of Design, consists of seven artists (Elsa Mejia, Senior Graphics Producer; Erik Larson, Art Director; Frank Grande, Senior Animator/Designer; Abraham Rodriguez-Smith, Senior Animator/Designer; Amy Bury, Designer) – all of which have access to mocha. “Every one of us in the department were relieved to get our copy of mocha Pro because now we know nothing is impossible,” says Jason Hearne, Senior Animator/Designer. “We use mocha together with Adobe After Effects on every project that we have special shoots for. We track, stabilize, and remove in just about all our projects.”
Hearne works in the On-Air Marketing Department which creates content (30 second spots or less) that sells GSN’s shows. The turnaround can vary from two hours to two months depending on the scope of the spot. One of the most labor intensive shows they work on is Skin Wars, currently in its second season. The first-ever reality body painting competition is GSN’s highest rated original show.
Skin Wars requires a lot of clean-ups. “The remove feature helped us tremendously on the Rebecca Romijn (host & model/actress) ‘Tiger Spot.’ It was a very moody set with shadows casting all over the place,” comments Hearne. “When we needed to clean all the model’s nipple pads and underwear seams, mocha was a lifesaver. I doubt the AE clone tool with fancy expressions could have handled it.”
To complete the transformation from nude male model to a robot (below), the team got creative – turning to an oozing wet paint look over a traditional mechanical robot. Again, mocha was used for clean-up, only this time for green screen roto. “One of my favorite time-savers is link to track – so as to make Roto super easy,” states Hearne. The spot also relied on simple planar tracking exported into After Effects as Corner Pin information.
“I’ve worked with mocha in many places prior to joining the team at GSN and it has ALWAYS been part of my workflow. I use mocha for translation data for nulls/layers, shapes, masks, corner pins, and now puppet tool animation. I’d say I get about 95% of my track data from mocha. It’s usually going to be the most accurate, so why attempt using anything else?” ends Hearne. “I feel naked without it being in my arsenal.” Pun intended.