The Simpsons has been going strong for 27 seasons. Take a moment, stop, take a deeeeep breath and let that sink in. The show began in 1989 and is somehow, inexplicably still running to this day. One of the marvels of the latest season is that the Simpsons went live on May 15th. Yes, you are reading that correctly; an animated television show went live and it was all thanks to crazy advances in technology.
During the end credits to the episode Simprovised they did the impossible and had Homer Simpson answer fan questions live as they happened. How, you might ask? Through new software provided by Adobe. A new feature in After Effects CC called Adobe Character Animator was used to allow for animators to make simple movements for the Simpson’s character stream live. Essentially, there was a bank of animations saved up for Homer and the animators were able to trigger those with a keystroke to go along with Dan Castellaneta’s words.
If that isn’t totally incredible and cool I’m not sure what is. We’re still quite a ways away from having actual, live animation, but this was pretty darned close to that. The Simpsons will continue moving forward and when someone asks which animated series was live first, much like we heard on South Park ages ago; SIMPSONS DID IT.