Warner Brothers


Happy Feet 2

ISBX devel­oped numer­ous projects for Warn­er Bros., and one our favorites was the “Hap­py Feet 2” inter­ac­tive children’s app for iPad and iPhone.
ISBX went over and above on this project make sure this would be a very unique expe­ri­ence. Our effort includ­ed com­plex ani­ma­tions using actu­al 3D mod­els from the film that required unique ani­ma­tion rig­ging to per­form the ani­ma­tions we want­ed, we cre­at­ed all the sound engi­neer­ing on mul­ti­ple sound effect and music cues, as well as numer­ous games and east­er eggs. The appli­ca­tion was trans­lat­ed into 15 dif­fer­ent lan­guages and dis­trib­uted to iTunes app stores world­wide (Local­iza­tion). Which result­ed in the Hap­py Feet 2 app mak­ing the Top 100 in iTunes with­in the 1st 2 weeks of it’s launch, with over 2 mil­lion down­loads in 60 days.

Services Provided

User Experience

UI Design

App Development




Bringing characters to life

Warn­er Broth­ers Stu­dios based in Bur­bank, CA approached ISBX with the goal of launch­ing an inter­ac­tive, char­ac­ter-dri­ven, iOS appli­ca­tion for its upcom­ing title, Hap­py Feet 2. On the heels of a $380M box office of the orig­i­nal Hap­py Feet, Warn­er Broth­ers desired to cre­ate an appli­ca­tion that would fur­ther increase immer­sion into the brand and serve as a pro­mo­tion­al tool by incor­po­rat­ing a Face­book shar­ing fea­ture with a link to down­load the application.
ISBX was met with a par­tic­u­lar­ly chal­leng­ing request — enabling a user’s inter­ac­tion with char­ac­ters that were entire­ly ani­mat­ed and ren­dered in com­put­er graph­ics, there­by ren­der­ing obso­lete the tra­di­tion­al avenues of using a green screen record­ing of the tal­ent or frame by frame ani­ma­tion of a car­toon char­ac­ter. The addi­tion­al chal­lenge revolved around the com­plex­i­ty of the pro­posed hero char­ac­ter for the app — a fea­ture film qual­i­ty rigged and mod­eled char­ac­ter, that had to then be stripped of its defin­ing qual­i­ties, and re-designed from the ground up. This meant that things like the tex­ture of basecoat, the fur, the light­ing and the move­ment of the char­ac­ter itself had to be designed and ani­mat­ed by ISBX and its team with the even­tu­al require­ment to han­dle ani­ma­tions for a dozen unique actions, inter­ac­tive respons­es and gestures.


ISBX pro­posed for an inter­ac­tive game mod­eled after the pop­u­lar video game fran­chise, Talk­ing Tom and Friends. ISBX apt­ly named the in-game expe­ri­ence, “Talk­ing Hap­py” which fea­tured an inter­ac­tive ele­ment based on cer­tain touch ges­tures by the user and a cor­re­spond­ing ani­ma­tion after each inter­ac­tion. Some exam­ples of these ani­ma­tions include:
  • Var­i­ous Dance Animations
  • High Five Animation
  • Tick­le Animation
  • Jump­ing Fish Animation
  • Talk­ing Hap­py Impa­tient and Inac­tiv­i­ty Animations
In addi­tion to this, ISBX designed and built a mem­o­ry game sim­i­lar in for­mat to the clas­sic “Simon Says” game. ISBX’s take was to use a series of drum beats per­formed by the ani­mat­ed char­ac­ter, that the user would then dupli­cate by tap­ping the cor­re­spond­ing drums, with each suc­cess­ful com­ple­tion cul­mi­nat­ing in an appro­pri­ate ani­ma­tion. After com­plet­ing three pro­gres­sive­ly chal­leng­ing and ran­dom­ized beats, the user was reward­ed with longer cel­e­bra­to­ry animations.
The final fea­ture involved an actu­al talk­ing ver­sion of the “Talk­ing Hap­py” char­ac­ter, which con­sist­ed of the abil­i­ty for a user to record their voice for any dura­tion of time and then wit­ness the Talk­ing Hap­py char­ac­ter recite the exact same phrase back to them. The user could then save this record­ing and post it up to their Face­book page for social promotion.
In order to per­form the com­plex ani­ma­tions of the fea­ture char­ac­ter, ISBX request­ed for the deliv­ery of the orig­i­nal 3D asset from Warn­er Broth­ers Stu­dios. As a result of licens­ing restric­tions, ISBX was instruct­ed to recre­ate cer­tain fea­tures of the char­ac­ter includ­ing the eyes, skin tex­ture and fur.
To sum up the work involved to cre­ate a sin­gle 3D ele­ment such as fur, would require expla­na­tion of self­shad­ow­ing each fur fiber, ren­der­ing of each indi­vid­ual poly­gon and fur tex­el, under­stand­ing of ver­tex nor­mal and direc­tion of hair growth and a gen­er­al under­stand­ing of 3D com­put­er graph­ics. In short, the recre­ation of these ele­ments was an incred­i­bly labor inten­sive process, but noth­ing ISBX was not up to. After recre­at­ing each of the required ele­ments, ISBX’s team then had to rig the mod­el in order to prop­er­ly artic­u­late the sim­u­lat­ed move­ment of the final char­ac­ter. Each ani­ma­tion was painstak­ing­ly cre­at­ed, frame by frame, from the rigged 3D mod­el and required thou­sands of hours of com­put­er ren­der­ing time in order to cre­ate the sum of all ani­ma­tions. These ani­ma­tions were then con­vert­ed over to a video for­mat and then sliced up into frame-by-frame ani­ma­tions for use in the final application.
Down­loads in the App Store

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