Wired magazine takes a look at the high-tech wizardry behind Tony Millionaire's 'Drinky Crow' cartoon:
When Tony Millionaire fans tuned in to the Cartoon Network last month for the long-awaited debut of The Drinky Crow Show, one of the big surprises was the visual effects.
The still, black-and-white frames of Millionaire's much-lauded Maakies comic strips were transformed into lucid color for the May 13 Adult Swim pilot, thanks to novel, computer-aided animation techniques developed exclusively for the program.
"Maakie-Mation is a new kind of animation that I invented to convey Tony's vision," said director and co-writer Eric Kaplan, who is also a writer for Futurama and honcho of CG animation production studio Mirari Films. "It uses the flexibility and power of CGI, but renders everything in 2-D so it looks like Tony's strip. No one has done it before."
Working out of the Mirari studio in, no lie, Dracula's Transylvania -- "They're reading Maakies like crazy in Transylvania!" the director proclaimed -- Kaplan and crew fashioned Maakie-Mation not out of Flash, but rather Maya, a 3-D graphics and modeling software powerhouse owned by Autodesk.