Chico & Rita – ToonBoon & HobSoft

Visit Chico & Rita official web site !

Last week I took advantage of the fact that my daughters were on holidays at her grandparents’ home and my wife in Africa to go to watch animation movies : Kung Fu Panda and Chico & Rita. At the end of the generic of Chico & Rita I was interested to see with which technology the movie was done. And my curiosity was rewarded. So in this post I will share with you all technologies used by the Estudio Mariscal to produce its movie and perhaps more… Let’s go with me Po ? Yes today you’re not the star, don’t look at me like that ok ?

Visit Kung Fu Panda web site !


Chico & Rita is the result of the combination of 2 artists :

Fernando Trueba is a Spanish book editor, screenwriter, film director and producer. Among other awards, he has won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film with “ Belle Époque ” in 1993, the Goya Award as Best Director three times and a Silver Bear for “ Year of Enlightment ” at the 37th Berlin International Film Festival.[1] “Miracle of Candeal” won the Goya for Best Documentary, and “ Chico & Rita ” won the Goya for Best Feature Animation. As a music producer he won 2 Grammy Awards and four Latin Grammy Awards. []

Visit Fernando Trueba's web site !Discover Mariscal's sketches !

Javier Mariscal is a Valencian Spanish artist and designer whose work has spanned a wide range of mediums, ranging from painting and sculpture to interior design and landscaping. []
He opened the Estudio Mariscal in 1989 and has collaborated in several projects with designers and architects. The Estudio Mariscal was responsible of the Chico & Rita production and promotion.

Visit Estudio Mariscal's web site !

If like me you have children and you are interested by funny furniture for children, you perhaps have already flashed for the Villa Julia designed by the Estudio Mariscal. Indeed in 2005, he made several objects for the children’s collection, Me Too, by Magis.

Discover the Villa Julia by Estudio Mariscal !Visit MAGIS MeToo collection !


Let’s go now deeper into the technical part of the Chico & Rita movie production ! First of all let’s start with the technology which is the most linked to animation : ToonBoom Harmony.

Drawings & Animation :: ToonBoom Harmony

It is not so easy to understand exactly what ToonBoom Harmony technology is about. So simply defined, ToonBoom Harmony is a team-based infrastructure for animation production. Developed in conjunction with the leading studios worldwide, Harmony is specifically designed for long-term episodic and feature-length projects, providing a true animation pipeline. That means that several animators can work simultaneously on the same scene while the asset library provides users with easy access to up-to-date media assets. This software contains all the tools required to handle traditional animation workflows from scanning to compositing and 2D/3D integration. Its centralized database system allows the sharing of assets between scenes and enables the workload to be shared efficiently across a studio or even between studios.

Discover ToonBoom Harmony product !

Even if ToonBoom Harmony seems to be a complete tool for animators, you may complete it with others ToonBoom specific softwares : Animate Pro, Story Board Pro and Pencil Check Pro.

     Discover ToonBoom Storyboard Pro software !      Discover ToonBoom Pencil Check Pro software !

Video :: Final Cut Pro

I’ve nothing special to say about the Apple’s solution for video. I really like the way Apple is communicating. So efficient. I’m glad to see that the Apple’s philosophy is coming to win. Design has core feature. I prefer beautiful object – even expensive – to deficient but cheap object.

Discover Apple Final Cut Pro product !

By the way, it was the occasion to discover others Apple technologies likes Apple Motion – a motion graphics tools for creating eye-catching titles, transitions, and effects – and Apple Compressor – a transcoding tool for FCP..

Discover Apple Motion !Discover Apple Compressor !


Architecture :: HoBSoft

I really recommend you to visit the HoBSoft web site. It’s very interesting to understand how all agencies were linked together through the HoBSoft technology in order to be able to work together without any problem due to distance. Indeed HoBSoft provides integrated production systems for animated feature films. In the Chico & Rita’s use case, the company describes very well the architecture used in order to synchronized the work of the more than 200 people distributed into studios in 6 countries over 3 continents (Brazil, Spain, Isle of Man, Latvia, Hungary and Philippines).

Discover HobSoft study case : Chico & Rita !

More generally HoBSoft offers 10 pools of competencies : file structure, management, editing, mastering, hardware, security, back up, workflows, automation and tracking.

Voice :: SyncMagic

I like searching information about how things are technically done. It’s always so exciting. Just capturing a word, a name and looking for the meaning of a concept, a technology or a brand. After regarding carefully the Chico & Rita use case detailed by HoBSoft, I just found in little character a reference to the lypsinc technology. Certainly inhabited by a soft french nationalism, I oriented my first search on the LipSync 2D technology from SyncMagic. I couldn’t imagine that a technology was used to synchronized voices to lips movement. So cool ! Moreover the company is based very closed to my home… 10 min walk !
Besides the LipSync technologies (read the 2D and 3D pipeline process), SyncMagic offers others tools like Slugg, Animatique and Digital X-Sheet.

Visit SyncMagic web site !

Another firm specialized in the lip synchronization I found is Stop Motion Pro with its software Lip Sync Pro.

Try Stop Motion Pro's Lip Sync Pro trial software !

Color & Light :: BaseLight

By browsing the HoBSoft web site, I discover what color grading is and what technologies are used. HoBSoft recommend especially the FilmLight BaseLight technology. Indeed Baselight is a complete colour grading system. Color grading is the process of altering and enhancing the color of a motion picture, television image, or still image either electronically, photo-chemically or digitally. []

Visit FilmLight's BaseLight product web site !

Others recommended technology – that means technology to which HoBSoft has competencies – are the Autodesk Flame Premium software and the IRIDAS FrameCycler. Flame Premium software is the Autodesk’s technology for visual effects and compositing, while IRIDAS FrameCycler is a family of software products for review, analysis and processing of frame sequences and digital movie file formats. If you desire obtain more information about these both technologies, I recommend you to browse the myfirstflame web site and the FrameCycler PRO official documentation

Discover Autodesk Flame Premium technology !Visit IRIDIAS FrameCycler technology !

Finally because it’s a love story, because the cuban music is magic, because it’s refreshing, because the drawings are beautiful and the color luminous just go to watch Chico & Rita. You won’t regret this experience !

Visit Chico & Rita official web site !