First Time an Animated Lead Character is Filmed Alongside Other Actors, in Real Time, for a Television Series
LOS ANGELES–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Fuzzy Door Tech, the innovative technology division of Seth MacFarlane’s acclaimed production company Fuzzy Door, today shared a behind the scenes look at how ViewScreenTM transformed production while making the new Ted television series, which premieres on Peacock January 11th.
Ted marks the first television show to film an animated lead character in real time alongside other actors with ViewScreen. The technology had a significant impact on the production, from allowing the entire crew to see Ted in real time while filming, to capturing MacFarlane’s performance so he could act as Ted while simultaneously directing.
“ViewScreen Studio was critical for planning shots and how the team approached filming. It allowed them to visualize the digital asset in real time and treat Ted like any other actor or live-action element. By removing the guesswork, ViewScreen transformed the creative process which resulted in a faster turnaround time,” said Faith Sedlin, president of Fuzzy Door Tech.
Making the Invisible Visible
The power of ViewScreen is how it lets filmmakers effortlessly integrate digital assets into their shots. It makes the invisible visible, which helps everyone on the crew do their job better. On Ted, the ability to see the bear in real time let everyone understand the story and capture the right shots faster.
“Filming with VFX components can be challenging because an essential part of the scene is left to the crew’s imagination. On Ted, using ViewScreen meant that everyone could see the composited scene, including the digital bear, in video village in real time,” said Brandon Fayette, chief product officer of Fuzzy Door Tech.
ViewScreen helped MacFarlane guide the actors to deliver their best performance because he could offer creative feedback based on a composited scene. Camera operators didn’t have to rely on eyeline tools or a stuffed bear placed in the scene to estimate Ted’s position. Using these techniques is especially difficult when trying to capture shots where Ted is moving. ViewScreen let the camera operators see the complete scene, with Ted in their viewfinder, so they could frame shots more easily.
Capture Real-Time Performance Without MoCap
MacFarlane had multiple roles during the production of Ted. He was the co-showrunner and director plus he had the added responsibility of acting as Ted. ViewScreen was a critical tool that he used to capture his real-time performance without a MoCap (motion capture) suit, freeing him to move without constraints. ViewScreen captured his facial expressions – without the need to leave his monitors – so he could continue to direct scenes and watch the action. Overall, the process saved MacFarlane time and allowed the crew to capture the right shots in fewer takes.
“We did the motion capture work in real time on set, which we did on the films as well, but it’s now a lot easier with ViewScreen Studio,” explains MacFarlane. “You can do motion capture work without having to wear a large MoCap (motion capture) suit all day, which can be distracting and inhibiting when you’re also trying to act and direct. In the space of just 10 years, it made it a significantly different experience when shooting the show.”
The ViewScreenTM family of products, which includes ViewScreen Studio and ViewScreen Scout, is a suite of production visualization (ProVisTM) tools that simultaneously integrates visual effects and the real world to accelerate television and film production. ViewScreen Studio is built for full-scale productions to let filmmakers visualize and animate an entire scene, including digital assets, in real time, across multiple cameras. And ViewScreen Scout is a real-time scouting app for the iPhone that lets people record how digital assets will look on location or on a soundstage – before filming begins.
The new Ted series is a comedic prequel event series based on the highest grossing original R-rated comedy of all time TED and TED 2, which grossed more than $750 million worldwide collectively. In the new series, it’s 1993 and Ted the bear’s moment of fame has passed, leaving him living with his best friend, 16-year-old John Bennett, who lives in a working-class Boston home with his parents and cousin. Ted may not be the best influence on John, but when it comes right down to it, Ted’s willing to go out on a limb to help his friend and his family.
About Fuzzy Door Tech
Fuzzy Door Tech is the innovative technology division of Seth MacFarlane’s acclaimed production company Fuzzy Door, which was established in 2019. Fuzzy Door Tech is redefining storytelling for film and television production with ViewScreenTM, a patented suite of augmented reality ProVisTM tools that simultaneously integrates VFX and live action – in real time – for unmatched creative flexibility. From pre-production to post-production, Fuzzy Door Tech’s solutions are tailored to streamline workflows and enrich the creative process for the entertainment industry. For more information, visit viewscreen.com.
ViewScreen makes stories happen.
Digital Press Kit