Meet the Idbids!

The idbids, three lovable, eco-friendly characters named Scout, Lola and Waverly, are taking the toy world by storm. They teach young children about the “iddy biddy” steps they can take to help save the planet. After a highly successful launch at Toy Fair in February, idbids LLC approached us to help them make a splash at the even more crucial launch at the international Licensing show in New York in July.

We developed a short 3D animated video designed to look as if the idbids plush toys were taking a screen test. The format allowed us to maintain the essential character of the idbids, but put them in a situation that adults would find amusing and interesting. 

We're currently working with the company to create an immersive online world for Scout, Lola and Waverly, to go online in early 2009.

Helping the ASO Reach the Next Generation

We’ve been working with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra for more than five years, producing the Meet the Composer series and providing video support for “ASO Symphony Celebration” events and promotional spots for CD releases and the like. This year we added the concert preview package for the Symphony’s Concerts for Young People programs.

This year’s video, “Rhythm: The Heartbeat of Music”, illustrates the theme of this year’s CfYP concert program.  An animated character named “Beat” interacts with ASO Associate Conductor Mei-Ann Chen to help illustrate the rhythmic concepts highlighted in the music of Shostakovich, Stravinsky, Orff, Dvořák and others performed in the program. 

Creating the Beat character was quite a challenge.  The show is for an audience of 3rd to 8th graders, and that encompasses an incredibly wide range of maturity and taste.  We wanted something that the younger kids could relate to, but that the older students wouldn’t look down their noses at.

“Rhythm: The Heartbeat of Music” was delivered to over 400 elementary and middle schools in north Georgia and will be seen by more than 30,000 students.

Striking Gold for Larson-Juhl

Peak Seven Marketing Solutions chose us to create an HD video to showcase their client Larson-Juhl’s top-of-the-line Concerto Collection for both consumers and retailers.

Peak Seven’s Tracey Smith told us that her goal was to share Concerto’s extraordinary story in a personal way that reflected the history behind the collection’s designs. Interviews with Concerto lead designer Marty Horowitz and Larson-Juhl CEO Steve McKenzie talked about the idea behind the collection and how Concerto can help retailers enhance their clients’ frame selection experience.

The project also featured several days of capturing footage of frames and artwork at our insert stage. Every one of the Concerto frames is a work of art in its own right, and to do justice to the collection, each frame had to be individually lit, which was a time-consuming. But the results were fantastic.  We put the camera on a mini-jib for most of the shots, and floating the camera around these lush works of impeccable gilded craftsmanship created some extraordinary colors and textures. Looking at the monitor, you could practically feel the frames.

The entire project was shot and posted in HD, including 2D/3D animation on still photographs from Larson-Juhl’s photo library. We obviously couldn’t bring the entire collection into the studio to photograph – it would have taken months.  But Larson-Juhl had a really high quality collection of catalog photos that we used to fill in the missing parts of the collection. We didn’t mimic the jib moves that we did in the studio, but created some complementary animations with multiple frames that helped build a really broad canvas for the show. Larson-Juhl retailers had the option of showing off the Concerto collection in SD on DVD, or via HD files on a media player.

Sophia Darcell wins IMA Vox Populi R&B award

Sophia Darcell’s “Soul Eclectic” was voted best R&B album of 2007 at the Independent Music Awards Vox Populi competition. Showcasing talent from the IMA Finalists pool, the IMA Vox Populi award was designed to enhance the promotion & marketing efforts of all IMA Finalists and their support teams. 

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“Soul Eclectic” was arranged and produced right here at WaveGuide Studios.  The music on the album is truly eclectic: a fusion of jazz, Afro-Carribean, R&B and soul.  Sophia’s an amazing singer/songwriter, and it was truly a pleasure to take her songs from demos to fully realized tracks using some of our favorite session musicians. After we tracked and premixed the album, the final mixes were done by multi-Grammy-winner Mike Couzzi at Miami’s Hit Factory.

Sophia’s next album is currently in pre-production, with recording slated at WaveGuide Studios for a scheduled pre-holiday release.

To get a taste of Sophia Darcell’s infectious rhythms and sultry vocal style and find out how to purchase to purchase “Soul Eclectic”, visit:

Drawing Fortune 500 Execs to Ricoh

We recently completed a promotional DVD presentation for Ricoh Americas that formed the centerpiece of a new campaign aimed at Fortune 500 key executives.


Our client was Linda Lindsey, Ricoh U.S. Senior Marketing Specialist. Linda is whip-smart, and positively bursting with great ideas.  Her goal was to entice top-level executives to visit Ricoh’s Atlanta Technology Center, where they can see their technology solutions first hand. 

We delivered the complete package, from location scouting to DVD authoring, and literally everything in between, including 3D animation that illustrated Ricoh’s value proposition in both concrete and abstract ways. Projects like this are especially gratifying for us, because they let us to take advantage of the real power of animation.  Done properly, five seconds of animation can to a better job illustrating an idea than three minutes of verbiage.


Linda offered this comment: “The end result of the project far exceeded my expectations.  The guys at WaveGuide Studios captured the essence of our technology, products, and people and translate that into a targeted, well-executed value proposition.  Since the release of this DVD, visits to our technology center have tripled."

Thanks, Linda!

WaveGuide Studios “Re-animates” Cartoon Network

Cartoon Network’s first live action movie, “Re-animated”, hit store shelves on DVD in September.  We produced the DVD’s special features, including a fifteen-minute documentary featurette describing the film’s animated special effects, hosted by actor Matt Knudsen, who portrayed the film’s villain, Sonny Appleday. 


The featurette included demonstrations of green screen compositing, character animation and shooting live footage for integration with animated characters.  We provided studio and location HD cinematography and complete audio and visual postproduction, including animation, compositing, original score, sound design and digital mastering.   We also produced the 30-second broadcast spot promoting the DVD release.  Really a fun project, and Thom Stanley at Cartoon Network was a joy to work with.

Pratt Continues to Choose WaveGuide Studios. Naturally.

Pratt Industries is one of the largest packaging manufacturers in the world – a world leader in manufacturing corrugated packaging from 100% recycled paper.  We’ve worked with Pratt since 1994 to produce audio, video and HD sales, marketing and corporate communications for its North American operations.  They’ve kept us busy lately – we just finished three projects for them: a promotional/sales DVD introducing their latest environmentally-friendly packaging product, NaturalBox™; a corporate video news release featuring CEO Anthony Pratt introducing the company’s expanded commitment to environmental conservation; and a DVD designed to promote the construction of a Materials Recovery Facility to be built in New York City, reducing the city’s carbon footprint by 160,000 tons per year, reducing air and water pollution and dramatically reducing the city’s need for landfill space, which is in desperately short supply in the New York area.  As usual, we were Pratt’s “one-stop-shop” for scriptwriting, casting, video production, audio and HD post, animation and DVD authoring.

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We really treasure the long-term relationships we’ve built with many of our clients, especially a great corporate citizen like Pratt Industries. After thirteen years, we’re like family – we know their products, history, people and culture. We’ve built up an enormous library of production assets that we can draw upon, and they’re absolutely confident that we’ll provide solid creative and production work.   Pratt believes we’ll present their company in the best possible light, reflecting their environmental leadership and superior quality products.

WaveGuide Studios Illuminates New Product Line for Owens Corning

We were recently tasked with creating a four-spot national TV campaign for Owens Corning’s revolutionary new SunSuites sunroom. We provided complete creative, production and post services to create all four spots from start to finish.

Each spot in the campaign was stylistically unique, and traded on a particular facet of the product’s competitive advantage. But all four had to strongly emphasize the brand proposition that we developed for Owens Corning: ‘Finally. There’s a sunroom that feels like a room.’

Because the product was entirely new to the market, we created the first two spots without benefit of a location installation.  The first spot, “Marker”, was created with a three-day turnaround entirely from animation and still photography. The second, “Never Settle”, was shot against blue screen in the WaveGuide Studios insert stage, where we built a complete Sunroom with a surrounding patio and garden.  W filled in the background with a combination of still images and a 3-D animated living room.  We used the same stage set for still photography to create a magazine ad and leave-behind brochure for the product.  We performed all the graphics and compositing for both the spot and the photos, and wrote and design the print materials as well.

The third and fourth spots, “Bluebird” and “Legacy” were shot at actual SunSuites installations, in Atlanta and on Long Island, New York. The purpose of the first two spots was to introduce the product.  The next two spots were designed to make you lust after it.  The spots focus on the lifestyle a homeowner can enjoy in a sunroom that “actually feels like a room.” 

Taking Double Gold

We get a lot of satisfaction from delighting our clients, but sometimes it’s nice to win an award.  This year we took two Davey Gold awards for TV spots:  “My Life.  My Shoes.  My Store”, a three-spot Athlete’s Foot national campaign for Fain & Tripp Advertising; and “Choices”, a local market spot produced with Kilgannon Advertising for Vectren Source Natural Gas in the New York market.

The two campaigns are very different, both conceptually and in the way they were produced.  The spots for The Athlete’s Foot were very lifestyle-oriented, focusing on participation in sports – lots of fast-cutting, various locations, very action- and people-focused.  The Vectren Source spot was entirely a post-production project, built around a single stock-footage clip.  This project was all about sound design, retouching and color correction, and a 3D animated logo with flames erupting from it.

When I told Russ Tripp about the Gold award for The Athlete’s Foot campaign, he responded with his characteristic enthusiasm: “Wow! That’s fantastic!”

Cooking With Gas

When Kilgannon Advertising ramped up their TV campaign to introduce Vectren Source to the New York natural gas market, they asked us to literally thrust Vectren Source onto the scene with a brilliant burst of (digital) flame.  WaveGuide Studios provided a compete suite of postproduction services for “Choices”, featuring a driver’s indecision when confronted with an unmarked “T” interchange. 

We built the spot around stock footage from Getty Images. Working with stock footage isn’t just a matter of dropping the shot into the timeline.  In this case, the master shot required multi-band color and exposure correction, plus there were elements that had to be completely removed. For instance, two birds flew across the frame, one after the other.  The second one was distracting, so Eric had to remove it, as well as a ghost reflection of the car’s turn signals and brake lights cast from a filter in front of the camera lens.  In a shot of a moving car, that can be tricky.

In addition to the stock footage cleanup, Eric created the Vectren Source logo treatment, in which a blue flame bursts into being, then burns away the black coating of a reflective chrome rendition of the logo.  The logo is entirely invisible on a black background until the flame acts upon it.  The effect combined elements produced in 3D using Maya Unlimited modeling, animation and fluid simulation modules.

Todd built a thirty-track immersive soundscape for the spot in the audio studio, making use of digital synthesis, the WaveGuide Digital sound effects library and foley recorded specific to the project.