How Ted Was Brought to “Real Life” with ViewScreen

Written by Joaquin Elizondo

January 11, 2024

Fuzzy Door Tech, the cutting-edge technology arm of Seth MacFarlane’s highly-regarded production company, Fuzzy Door, has unveiled an exclusive behind-the-scenes exploration into the revolutionary role played by ViewScreen in the production of the upcoming Ted television series, scheduled to make its debut on Peacock on January 11th.

Breaking new ground, Ted stands as the inaugural television show to employ the real-time animation of its lead character, Ted, seamlessly interacting with live actors through the innovative ViewScreen technology. The profound impact of this technological marvel on the production process is evident, ranging from providing the entire crew with a real-time view of Ted during filming to capturing MacFarlane’s performance as he adeptly embodied the character of Ted while simultaneously directing the unfolding scenes.

The true potency of ViewScreen lies in its capacity to seamlessly integrate digital assets into film shots, effectively making the previously invisible aspects of production visible. This transformative feature greatly enhances the efficiency of the entire crew, allowing them to perform their respective roles with greater precision. On the set of Ted, the real-time visibility of the animated bear enabled the crew to comprehend the unfolding narrative swiftly and capture the essential shots more efficiently.

ViewScreen proves to be an invaluable tool in MacFarlane’s hands, enabling him to guide actors toward delivering their optimal performances. With the ability to provide creative feedback based on the composited scene, MacFarlane transcends traditional limitations. Unlike conventional methods that rely on eyeline tools or physical props such as a stuffed bear to estimate Ted’s position, ViewScreen offers a comprehensive view of the entire scene in the camera operator’s viewfinder, streamlining the framing of shots, even when Ted is in motion.

During the production of Ted, MacFarlane assumed multiple roles, serving as the co-showrunner, director, and embodying the character of Ted himself. ViewScreen emerged as a critical tool in his arsenal, allowing him to capture his real-time performance without the encumbrance of a motion capture suit. This freedom of movement empowered MacFarlane to direct scenes and monitor the action without constraints, while ViewScreen adeptly captured his facial expressions, all without requiring him to leave his monitors. The cumulative effect was a significant time-saving for MacFarlane and a streamlined process that enabled the crew to capture the desired shots with fewer takes.

In essence, the integration of ViewScreen technology into the production of Ted showcases a paradigm shift in the filmmaking process. It not only facilitates real-time collaboration between animated and live elements but also empowers directors like MacFarlane to wear multiple hats seamlessly. As the industry continues to embrace such cutting-edge technologies, the boundaries between imagination and realization in the world of filmmaking are becoming increasingly blurred, opening new horizons for creative expression and storytelling. To witness the transformative impact of ViewScreen in action, you can explore the behind-the-scenes video on YouTube.

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