An animated series that helps pre-school children learn English as a foreign language.

Client: New Oriental

Bobo English is a new app created by our friends Prismo Studio for the Chinese private education market, aimed at teaching young children English.  Born from the 2020 pandemic and the inability of New Oriental to teach in person, they recognised the need to create a product that could be used in peoples homes without direct teacher intervention.  And so Bobo, conceived and created by Prismo Studio, was born.

The idea is simple, fun and immediately engaging. Bobo is an Alien who has landed on Earth. He befriends a family who, through a series of animations and interactive games [not created by ticktockrobot], learns about the new world around him in English.

We were tasked with creating a series of fun music and live action videos that entertain as well as re-enforce the children’s learning for each week.

The size, scale and production timeline of this project is the largest we have ever undertaken.

Hundreds of 1 -2 min music videos and 3 – 4 min live action videos will be prodiuced in total, within just under 2 years. Yep, you read that correct.  Also our work proved so popular with beta testing families that we have since been commissioned for yet more still.

We have developed a close working relationship with our partners Prismo studio, who provide us with the required music and live action footage for us to create our very stylised animations.  Scripts and language goals are developed by the client which we then adapt into fun quirky music videos. 

We have also created various other assets including posters, stickers and obj posed models for a 4 ft model that adorns the Bobo office reception in China.

It was also a great project to road test our new, bespoke project tracker, which has been a god send in organising such a mammoth and ever-growing project.

Credits:

 

Bobo Character Design:

Joey Li / Prismo Studio

Creative Direction:

Simon Armstrong

Design & Direction:  

Simon Armstrong & Joao Rocha

Scripts:

New Oriental

Audio & Live Action:

Prismo Studio

Services:

  • Additional Character Design
  • Art Direction
  • Storyboarding
  • Animation
  • Editing
  • Social Media Re-versioning

It takes a library to make a library...

With just under two years to create hundreds of animations, we knew we needed to find great solutions that would enable us to produce quality quickly.  Fortunately a challenge is something we like here at ticktock.

If we were going to make a huge collection of videos, we were going to need a large assemblage of cute, quirky animations that could be sewn into our bespoke shots.  Using Maya’s Studio Library plugin, James our animation lead set about crafting a myriad of loop, idles, actions and poses that would speed up the animation process.

This little loop here took 10 minutes to create thanks to James' hard work at the start of the project!

What was paramount is variety in colour and character to prevent monotony..

Building Bobo's not so alien world...

With such a tight turnaround for each episode – we needed to consider render times and production pipeline.  We also wanted to create something that had it’s own style, that was unique and would appeal to pre-school children.  So we decided to use 3D animation for the central planes, with a combination of still 3D assets and simple white line work for the foreground and backgrounds.  Every asset is coloured using the strict 20 colour palette we built for the project.

Some stills from the Live Action series we are also post producing.