About Pencil Test Studios, Inc.

Pencil Test Studios is an independent game development and animation production studio founded in 2009 by game industry veterans Mike Dietz and Ed Schofield. Located in Lake Forest, CA., the studio specializes in content creation, development and production services for games, mobile devices, film, and television, while offering many different animation styles including 2D, 3D, stop motion and mixed media. The studio has collaborated on numerous successful videogame franchises with high profile clients such as Disney, Pixar, and Activision, providing extensive experience and familiarity working within a wide variety of game production pipelines.

Mike Dietz pioneered animation processes early in his career which allowed hand drawn animation to be incorporated into video games. While using these techniques in conjunction with his passion for animation, Dietz set the benchmark for animation quality on such games as Disneys Aladdin and Earthworm Jim. Additionally, Dietz served as director for several episodes of the award winning animated sitcom The PJs, and co-directed the short Squirly Town for Nickelodeons Random Cartoon Show. In 2008, Mike won an Annie award for his efforts as animation director on Pixars Ratatouille video game.

Ed Schofield has directing and producing credits on a wide variety of projects and has held the position of studio animation director for both Foundation 9 and THQs Heavy Iron video game studios. Ed was the winner of the WAC award for best animation produced for games for The Neverhood, and in 2009 was nominated for an Annie Award in the category of best animated videogame for Pixars WALL-E. Currently, Ed serves on the board of directors for Web Wise Kids, the nations leading non-profit organization that teaches kids about internet safety though interactive games.

Animation Production

Whether your animation needs are for game, commercial, film & tv, or mobile devices, Pencil Test Studios can work with you to satisfy your creative needs. Our studio produces animation in the following mediums:

  • 2D Cel Animation
  • 3D Computer Animation
  • Stop Motion Animation

Game Development

Having over 2O years of 'in the trenches' game development experience, Mike Dietz and Ed Schofield can lead their crew to efficiently and effectivly provide your team with high quality game animation.

  • Character Animation (Player-character and NPC)
  • Pre-rendered and In-Game Cinematics
  • Game Design and Production Pipelines



Pre-Production

If you need assistance during the early stages of your production, Pencil Test Studios can provide a variety of services to get your project moving along:

  • Story and Character Development
  • Storyboards and Concepts

Post-Production

As well as pre-production services, Pencil Test Studios also offers a wide variety of post-production services:

  • Editing and Sound FX
  • Motion Tracking and Compositing

Markers and Cardboard for Public Storage

Pencil Test Studios, Inc. has completed three animated advertisements for Public Storage. Working with The Phelps Group integrated marketing communications (IMC) agency, the commercials mark Pencil Test Studios first animated contribution to Public Storages already fun and quirky ad campaign.


Created in a ''marker on cardboard'' style, the commercials follow ''Stickman'' as he journeys though a series of helpful storage tips and information: from navigating the PublicStorage.com web site, to showing the best ways to pack your stuff.


''Each commercial was designed to be both informative, and entertaining,'' said Mike Dietz, co-founder of Pencil Test Studios. ''The Phelps Group was great to work with and they were all really receptive to the funny ideas we came up with.''


While working on a tight schedule, Pencil Test Studios completed the three 90 second spots in about 8 weeks. ''The challenge was to quickly create visuals that were amusing. We really had a lot of fun with the characters, and each animator brought a lot of personality to 'Stickman,''' said Pencil Test Studios co-CEO, Ed Schofield.


Check our PublicStorage.com for more details.

New PTS Web Site

The Pencil Test Studios website has been completely over-hauled! We're still in the process of updating some of the content in the 'Portfolio' section, but in the mean time, take a look around and let us know what you think. We always like hearing from you!

That's "Mr. Hara" To You!

We are happy to announce that our first short film entitled "Mr. Hara" is currently in production! After well recieved reviews of the animatic and pre-prodution work, Mr. Hara will be coming soon to a web site near you. Stay tuned...

Un-Announced and Un-Named Game

The game industry can be steeped in secrecy. Sometimes, a special nod or wink, along with a secret handshake are the only ways to get information about an upcoming project. Unfortuately, we don't know any nods or handshakes, but we can announce that PTS has just wrapped production on an un-announced and un-named game. We can also tell you that the game is based on a wildly popular TV show, and it was alot of fun to work on, with fun charater designs and great gameplay. The animation came out great too!

McDonald'd Frappe

A cool, refreshing beverage, McDonald's new Frappe has been deliciously animated for the Asian markets. Hand drawn, inked and painted by Pencil Test Studios, the goal was to capture the tasty act of pouring coffee and cream together, and mixing into a enticing McDonald's Frappe. Released in Korean, Mandarin, Cantonese and Taglish versions, the spot encourages viewers to go out and try a drink today. So...what are you waiting for?

Kinect With Pencil Test

Animation production completed on a new Microsoft game to be released on the Kinect. Great game concept utilizing many well known and beloved characters. What a blast to animate in a squashy-stretchy style!

Dog Days Are Over

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  • Pencil Test Studios, Inc.