View Full Version : Profile on Henson Digital Puppetry Studio

09 September 2009, 03:45 PM
Variety has posted a profile on the work being produced by [/url]Henson Digital Puppetry Studio.
The studio uses a combination of puppetry and motion-capture animation which the Jim Henson Co. is currently using to produce full episodes of TV shows like Sid the Science Kid
The company was [url=""]awarded a special Engineering Emmy this year ( for their work. every two days.

09 September 2009, 09:01 PM
Wow this is incredible work...
Here a are some clips of
Sid The Science Kid (

and here are some behind the scenes clips:

09 September 2009, 11:05 PM
Most of that footage is at least a year old or so. Cool stuff though.

09 September 2009, 11:31 PM
here is the quote of the article that surprised me:
"The resulting system not only delivers real-time rendering but also accommodates virtual cinematography, allowing camera operators to sit in front of a videogame-style console and move about the virtual space, "shooting" the action as they would a three-camera sitcom. Since the Maya-rendered output is immediate, editors can get to work on the footage right away (though shows like "Sid" allow time for a final broadcast-quality pass using Mental Ray rendering software for dynamics, such as hair and complex shaders). "It’s a very efficient process," says Henson, who is now considering ways to license the technology. "With ‘Sid the Science Kid,’ we were shooting and creating a real-time animated show every two days."

09 September 2009, 08:28 AM
That's very impressive work. I love the fact they still need puppeteers that use similar movement for the face for the lip-syncing. What a great way to incorporate technologies. I bet it saves them lots of money too, if they can produce a show in only 2 days.

Great work there.

09 September 2009, 09:13 AM
Wow this is incredible work...

"With ‘Sid the Science Kid,’ we were shooting and creating a real-time animated show every two days."

It's really good work for the footage produced per day, but I wouldn't say it was generally incredible work. They're sacrificing a lot of quality for efficiency here, especially because it's in CG where the charm of a hand-made and hand-animated puppetry doesn't translate anywhere near as well.

09 September 2009, 04:46 AM
I worked on Sid as a character and environment modeler. the HDPS system is really amazing, but still not perfect, the animation that comes from the stage needs cleanup still, so i'd say the claims of 'creating' a show every 2 days are a bit disingenous. We also had render times, lighting setups, etc. The stage footage was no different from normal stage footage in that it needed to be cleaned up and made ready for air, it wasn't 100% right off the bat.

It was a great time though, good crew and working for Jim Henson studios and knowing Brian Henson personally (it's a very small company) were a childhood dream come true, I'm so glad Sid came out well and while yah, there are some sacrifices in quality there for speed, we produced something like 40 episodes in less than a year of production from modeling to finished lighting.

I can't wait to see how the system develops overtime though, hopefully the emmy nomination for Sid (didn't win unfortunately) helps push some more money their way for continued development.

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