Hugely popular CBeebies show ‘Grandpa in my Pocket’ returned this year for a brand new series. Grandpa and his magic shrinking hat are back, together with a host of colourful new characters and hilarious adventures. It has been called the most exciting series yet!
Cloth Cat Animation was involved in the series with producers Mellie Buse and Jan Page of Adastra Creative from the early stages to work out the role of the visual effects. The VFX are an essential part of the show, incorporating CG animation to shrink Grandpa down to pocket-size and bluescreen set extensions to create the beautiful Sunnysands backgrounds. Our compositing team then brought it all together with Grandpa actor James Bolam’s bluescreen performance, all filmed at Enfys Studios in Cardiff.
Even though this was the fourth and fifth series of ‘Grandpa in my Pocket’, Cloth Cat started completely afresh with the VFX for the show, creating a whole new set of props and set extensions for the series. We also hosted a special photoshoot with James Bolam to build a CG version of Grandpa, recording his movements with motion capture to support the animation.
Almost every scene in the 52-episode series features visual manipulation in some way, and by using a combination of Autodesk Maya, Solid Angle Arnold and The Foundry’s Nuke, the studio worked hard to create thousands of challenging effects like toy planes in flight, glowing spaceships, miles of grassy meadows and mischievous mini-Grandpas. In total, there were 3820 VFX shots across all the episodes – that’s more than all of the Lord of the Rings films!
Created, written and produced by Mellie Buse and Jan Page, ‘Grandpa in my Pocket’ has been a ratings success and consistently sits in the top ten in weekly viewing figures for pre-school. It has been nominated for three consecutive Children’s BAFTAs (Pre-School Live Action category) and was the winner of the 2011 BAFTA Cymru for Best Children’s Programme.