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Edgeworx provides graphics animation for "Play With Me Sesame"

Courtesy of Creative Planet Communities
June 9, 2003

Edgeworx teamed up with Noggin, the commercial-free, educational network for preschoolers owned by Nickelodeon, to provide graphics, animation, off-line and on-line editorial for the network's entire second season of "Play with Me Sesame."

"Play with Me Sesame" is Noggin's half-hour interactive series, targeted at 2- to 5-year-olds that takes children on a "playdate" with some of their favorite "Sesame Street" characters: Ernie, Bert, Grover and Prairie Dawn. Each episode mixes classic "Sesame Street" footage with newly created games and activities where the characters invite children to join in. The show encourages preschoolers to express themselves creatively, while the games and activities support such cornerstone cognitive concepts as "same and different." As an interactive experience, the program helps children cultivate skills and attitudes needed to succeed in the social environment of school. The show is composed of thematic segments including "Ernie Says," "The Prairie Dawn Art Show," "Bert Computer Games" and "Move and Groove with Grover."

Noggin wanted to update the look of "Play with Me Sesame" to kick off the second season of the show. After shooting new footage of the Sesame characters, the network came to Edgeworx to build the series. Edgeworx produced over 120 segments, including a newly animated show open and close, and brought to life "Ducks in a Row," a new game for season two that's hosted by Ernie and his rubber duckie. Other new segments produced were 17 "Ernie Says" games, 20 "Prairie Dawn Art Shows," 15 "Bert Computer Games" (five "Oatmeal Arts," five "Perfect Pairs" and five "Pigeon Patterns"), 10 "Ducks in a Row," 17 "Move and Grooves with Grover" and 12 new "Play with Me Sesame" bumpers. The company also made over 30 kid segments that highlight real kids playing games and participating in the "Play with Me Sesame" playdate.

Edgeworx worked with newly shot "Sesame Street" character footage (shot on greenscreen) and graphics and animations that it created in After Effects, along with a combination of previous show footage. Off-line editorial was completed by Kristan Kilkenny, on-line by Dino Sanacory and graphics and animation by Paul Poole and Sharon Eagan. "The project required the animators and editors to work closely together to seamlessly combine graphics, animation and footage into one world," commented Wendy Gardner, who produced the work for Edgeworx.

"Some of the pieces, such as 'Computer Games' and 'Duckie Games,' are fully animated and range in length from one to three minutes, which is a particular challenge because animating and rendering segments of this length is quite time consuming," Gardner continued. "The bumpers and 'Prairie Dawn Art Shows' are a combination of animation and composited footage. 'Move and Groove,' 'Ernie Says' and the 'Kid Videos' were primarily editorial but also included the integration of graphic elements such as frames, transitions and backgrounds in keeping with the look of the 'Play with Me Sesame' block."

"Edgeworx has been a great pleasure to work with," said Jocelyn Hassenfeld, Noggin's "Play with Me Sesame" executive producer and director. "They have truly taken on the responsibility of the work, which is very complex and involves many segments of numerous shows. The production team did an amazing job of tracking and organizing everything and the creative staff really made these segments come to life. This year, I was able to step back and know that all the details were being taken care of."

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