FOX Sports | Winter Is Coming

We’re getting hyped for hockey with this awesome promo for FOX Sports, featuring a winter wonderland of 3D animation. 

That’s right: it’s time to get excited for ice in Florida!

We’re no strangers to animations involving the Panthers’ feline mascot, but this one provided some additional opportunities for icy animation. You see, a pretty popular show called Game of Thrones was premiering its final season around the same time we were creating this video. And while the show was infuriating and poorly-executed, this promo isn’t!

Achieving the look of a rapid winter freeze in Florida required several different types of software working together, as well as a selection of stock and pre-shot drone footage. Animators Trey Gregory and David Hixon worked in Syntheyes, Maya, and Adobe After Effects to bring all the pieces together. 

David animated the panther in Maya, after retrieving tracking data from Syntheyes. Making a complex creature like a panther move convincingly is a real challenge. To get it done, David needed massive processing power, as well as considerable patience. But the effect was worth it!

The After Effects work centered on 3 vital things. Mapping camera movements, using Particular for various particle effects (like snow), and Optical Flares to create the trailing effect. We also added snow, clouds, and blizzard haze. What’s more, Colorist Jenn Lee prepped two different grades on the footage to ensure our client was happy with the look. 

3D animation can take a village, but it’s really awesome when you pull it off. With all the different aspects of this project in play, the success of this big chill was a pretty big thrill!

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