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Thunderbirds are go! How Adobe Premiere Pro is helping bring the British classic back to the small screen

Adobe Systems, Inc.
Written by Warren Kelly | Published in
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Create DateMay 28, 2015
Last UpdatedMay 28, 2015
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By Niels Stevens, business development manager, Video, Adobe UK

Growing up, I was a huge fan of the Thunderbirds. Combining marionette puppetry and scale-model special effects, the show is still hailed as one of the best examples of supermarionation ever seen on screen.

ITV Studios and Pukeko Pictures are bringing the classic back to the small screen with a brand new series. Thunderbirds Are Go will use CGI to create animated characters with live-action miniature models developed by Weta Workshop, to give the show a retro feel and remind fans of the show’s puppet roots.

So how did the teams involved go about creating this reimagined classic?

Starting with pre-visualisation, Maya was used to render the scenes and assets while Adobe Premiere Pro CC was used to cut all of the rendered scenes with the pre-recorded dialogue. Once the pre-visualisation was complete, the teams moved on to post-visualisation. Using the XML output capability in Premiere Pro, they translated the work that they did back into Maya to generate detailed assets, rigs, and camera placements for each shot.  Once this was done, everything was brought back into Premiere Pro before the final comp, which was done by a company called Milk.

Premiere Pro CC helped the teams to speed up their workflow as it accepts all sorts of content, regardless of the format it’s in or whether the content is online or offline and doesn’t require any third-party apps to ingest the media. With so many different companies working on the episodes across different countries and time zones, Premiere Pro also enabled everything to be managed in just the one programme, keeping things streamlined and efficient.

The first Thunderbirds Are Go episode premiered in the UK with an hour-long episode special on ITV on 4 April 2015.

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