Burbank based AlphaDogs Post Production has completed work on Extreme Christmas Trees. From a three-story tall tree in a private home to America”s tallest singing Christmas tree, Extreme Christmas Trees shows people wreaking havoc and battling impossible obstacles in the pursuit of the ultimate Christmas experience. The one-hour special will air on Saturday, December 10th at 10/9c on TLC.
Extreme Christmas Trees showcases decorated holiday trees from different locations around the world. The footage was shot using different camera crews and equipment for each location. This presented a challenge in creating a unified look for the show. AlphaDogs veteran colorist Terence Curren was able to seamlessly correct the problem by using Avid”s Symphony color corrector. Curren comments, “The Symphony is not the most powerful color correction tool at our disposal, but its tight integration with the entire post process made it the obvious choice for this show.” Curren”s extensive experience with correcting color in these types of situations allowed the show to be delivered on time.
Senior Animator Russell Frazier designed and animated the main title for Extreme Christmas Trees. Five concepts were originally submitted from AlphaDogs as well as concepts from other companies. Frazier comments, “A technical and creative concern was to make the tree and title appear suitably monumental while meeting Discovery’s requirements for various areas of the frame to be kept open for bugs and other graphics.”
Using Adobe After Effects while following the storyboard, Frazier mixed five-seconds of both 2D and 3D animation, as a snow-covered evergreen grows into an enormous, fully decorated tree that fills the entire frame. The design is timed to a brief and bouncy arrangement of the classic carol “O Christmas Tree” as a glowing 3D title grows out of the snow. Trees and ornaments were derived from stock photos with retouching done in Adobe After Effects. Frazier also designed a lower third ID banner, a looping snow scene background, and added additional details that included a falling star ornament to punctuate the title and match the main title”s music.
Extreme Christmas Trees is worthy of its title when you find out why it takes a team of 40 master carvers from China to construct a meticulously detailed tree entirely of ice, and how a tree made entirely out of antlers can be so stunning that it’s sent to a Swedish art gallery. More than just a simple survey of unusual trees, this one-hour special takes the viewer on an adventurous journey into the excesses and dangerous pursuits in creating the ultimate Christmas tree.
Extreme Christmas Trees is Produced by Discovery Communications for the TLC Network.