Automatic creation and rendering of 850 TV Paint setups

Production summary


Roger Mainwood


Based on the award-winning book by acclaimed British author and illustrator Raymond Briggs, this hand drawn animated feature film is an intimate, engaging and affectionate depiction of the life and times of his parents. The film follows Ethel and Ernest, two ordinary Londoners, from their first meeting in the 1920s, through the tumultuous events of the 20th Century from the Depression and World War 2 to post-war prosperity and the swinging 60s.


94 min









Ethel & Ernest

Ethel & Ernest


© Ethel & Ernest Productions Limited, Melusine Productions S.A., The British Film Institute and Ffilm Cymru Wales CBC. 2016

HoBSoft tasks

HoBSoft tracked 121,217 tasks on the production of Ethel & Ernest from April 2015 to June 2016. Out of those Tasks 106,362 was automatically processed by the HoBSoft system.

Examples of automatic tasks:

  • Ensuring that the necessary files are available on the file server in the studio where the task is delegated
  • Rendering all layers from TVPaint
  • Transferring relevant files to the supervisor for approval
  • Transferring relevant files to the director for approval

HoBSoft rendered 8,710 TVPaint setups into 111,932 TVPaint layers with 4,353,807 images for compositing.

The automatic tasks were handled by more than 4 million processes

Example of processes:

  • Transferring an image sequence from one studio to another
  • A TVPaint render
  • Rendering a media file for the web system
  • Generating media files for FCP

Reflecting a little bit on 4 million automatic processes, one sees that for every second of processing time spend per process is equal to 138 work days of 8 hours had it been done manually.

HoBSoft automation

On Ethel & Ernest HoBSoft has implemented numerous automatic scripts to create, check and render files for TV Paint and ftrack.

TV Paint

HoBSoft has created software for the following automation for TV Paint.

  • Creation of TVPaint project files
  • Importing layers
  • Render Farm
  • Quality Control


HoBSoft has custom programmed the following automation for ftrack.

  • Creation of shots
  • Exchange of Tasks notes

HoBSoft setup

System diagram of HoBSoft on Ethel & Ernest. Move the mouse over the image for details.


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