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Atlanta, GA
Archer Animated TV Program – Floyd County Productions

By TJ McCueWednesday, November 19, 2014

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Here’s a way to build a business – do not build a website. I am not being sarcastic. Do amazing work online that everyone will watch and want to share and customers will find you. Floyd County Productions does exactly that. It is the work of Matt Thompson and Adam Reed, creator of the acclaimed FX show. The company employs 110 artists with a median age of 25. There is no website for the people and company that produce the show.

If you have not seen it,“Archer is an animated, half-hour comedy that revolves around a spy agency and the lives of its employees. Although their work of espionage, reconnaissance missions, wiretapping and undercover surveillance is daunting and dangerous, every covert operation and global crisis is actually just another excuse for the staff to undermine, sabotage and betray each other for personal gain.”  –From the Archer website

As you may have read in my previous post and visit with SketchBook Pro artist, Kevin Mellon, who works on the Archer show, introduced me to the team behind the action. Art Director, Neal Holman explained how they use 3ds Max to build out scenes and prepare the show.

Here is some of the workflow, direct from Neal that you can see in the photos as well as in these descriptions:

  • Chalet Rough Design -- Are environments are designed like a doll's house, with a cutaway section so our 3-D modelers can see how each element relates to the next. We have about two weeks to design and build all of the environments on an average episode.
  • Storyboard -- This is storyboard is a wideshot set in the Chalet's living room.
  • Render -- This is a render from our 3DS Max model of the Chalet interior. The camera angle is set to the storyboard.
  • Final Painting -- Our Background painters work over the render, adding signs of life, texture and atmosphere.

Neal explained that a general episode takes about 11 weeks, start to finish. They generally have five episodes in production on any given day during the season, (one being written, one being storyboarded/designed, one being illustrated/painted, one in animation and a final in post-production).

Once they breathe life into these characters, they take on a life of their own, online. That’s why you don’t find a Floyd County Productions website – the characters are alive through the work of artists, animators, and other creative types who also participate in social media talking about their work with the show. When you have a conversation going on, who needs a website? Kudos to Floyd County.

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