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Dennis & Gnasher: Unleashed Season 2

Client
Beano Studios/CBBC
Format
52 x 11' Animated children's series
Release Date
13/07/2020
Brief

To continue the unpredictable and exciting adventures of Dennis and his friends in Beanotown in its second season.

Dennis And Gnasher Unleashed Series Two 1

Jellyfish Pictures started work on the second series of Dennis & Gnasher: Unleashed in late 2018. Series Director, Kitty Taylor, the first of Jellyfish’s crew to start on the series, began with immersing herself in the world of series one, also created at Jellyfish Pictures. Having become xx with the series, Kitty started to work collaboratively with Beano Studios and the BBC on early scripts for the show.

Series two sought to evolve the characters from the first instalment, namely the female characters JJ and Ruby. Whilst working on the script, she was joined by CG Supervisor, Murray Truelove. Murray, along with Kitty, reviewed the scripts ensuring everything in them was achievable with budget and time allowing.

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With artwork taking place in-house on series one, the show’s feel had already been established, with many of the environments and characters already having been cemented. From looking at the scripts, the CG Supervisor was able to ascertain what assets already existed and what would need to be created from scratch. Throughout the new series, we see a roster of new environments and props including fun gadgets and vehicles. When reviewing the scripts, working closely with the series Director, the CG Supervisor reviewed what was achievable and what had to be reconsidered for it to work practically and within the budget.

As well as new environments and props, a new central character has been introduced to the cast, Miss Mistry, Dennis and his pals’ new teacher. The character design was completed in-house by Jellyfish Art Director, Katri Valkamo.

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Since series one, Jellyfish Pictures pipeline had evolved somewhat in terms of its sophistication. Tools and workflows used to create the series have been upgraded and integration with Shotgun is now seamless.

The world of series one has also grown. There are more environments and sets for the characters to interact in, so the layout of environments and how the characters travel from one to the other is a key element of thought.

Creating the new series has taken 24 months with a crew of over 60 people, ranging from Art Directors, Animators and Compositors.

From script stage, the team moved into storyboarding, using software PanelForge. The software allowed a seamless workflow for animatics, reviewing then on to animation.

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The animation team is made up of three different crews of eight to nine animators. Each team worked on a separate episode, with three episodes in play at any one time throughout the production, all overseen by Animation Director, John Knowles.

Around three-quarters of the way through production, the whole project was moved to a remote working set up due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Thanks to Jellyfish Pictures IT infrastructure already being completely virtual, the move to working from home setting was seamless. Back in December Jellyfish Pictures became the World’s Largest Virtual Visual Effects and Animation Studio in the World, with no hardware or IT infrastructure housed on any of our five facilities. Because of this investment in virtual technologies, we were able to set up all of our artists and support staff working from home with full access to the Jellyfish IT infrastructure via PCoIP in our tier-one data centre. Artists have the same access and security as if they were in the studios.