Wombat Studios, originally named Wombat Interactive, was founded in October of ’97. It was formed by Bear Weiter and Trey Toman, friends since high school, with our mission to provide high quality work in the emerging world of digital design. We had both been working within Medtronic’s creative services department and felt that we could be more effective by having more control over what we were doing.
October ’97 – left Medtronic and formed a partnership with the department to provide continued support and expertise, and to help expand the capabilities within the department.
January ’98 – Medtronic hired us to do a large scale 3D heart animation project; a first within the creative services department and a strong show of faith by our previous employer.
Spring and Summer of ’98 – Medtronic followed up with additional animation work on the spinal column and lower back pain, then on deep brain stimulation.
April ’98 – Synectics, a division of Medtronic, flew us out to their home office in Stockholm, Sweden, where we worked on interface and icon design for their next generation application.
Summer ’98 – expanded into other industries, doing web site development for mortgage companies and an video (with animation) for an industrial manufacturer.
Fall ’98 – started a relationship with General Mills, providing graphic support and Photoshop training.
Spring ’99 – relocated our offices into Minneapolis’ warehouse district.
Spring ’99 – Carmichael Lynch, an advertising agency in Minneapolis, hired us to do an interactive screen saver. Over the next few years we handled many small projects through them, for clients such as American Standard, Northwest Airlines, and even a few internal projects for their different divisions.
Summer ’99 – started working with Possis Medical, developing animations for their AngioJet product.
’99 to 2001 – built relationships with several agencies within Minneapolis, providing design, animation, and interactive support as well as training.
Fall ’99 to Spring 2000 – became involved with a large scale artist installation project; we worked directly with the artist to prepare more than a dozen multi-panel elements, laser cut from metal plates. Many of these panels were predominantly tracing jobs, but some were designed by us to fit his ideas. We were also involved in helping to pre-visualize the designs, recreating the environments in 3D and then modifying the designs based on the artist’s reactions to the previz.
2000-2001 – Possis Medical expanded their project list for us – tradeshow graphics, web site design and development, PowerPoint backgrounds, corporate identity, interactive CDs, mailers… anything and everything.
2000-2001 – Datacard hired us to redesign their main site and intranet portal; was involved in photo shoots of models for different landing pages.
Spring 2001 – created an extensive interactive PowerPoint presentation for General Mills – full of animation and video tied to their different divisions.
Summer 2001 – hired by Jack Morton to create an intranet site for Andersen Windows and Doors; the navigation and other elements heavily relied on 2D illustrations.
2002 – The Discovery Channel airs PEARL HARBOR DEATH OF THE ARIZONA, a special in which Wombat was instrumental in creating a photorealistic model of the doomed battleship
Spring 2003 – relocated Wombat to Kansas City. During this transition the company was rebranded as Wombat Studios, with a heightened focus on animation and video.
2004 – began work on a desktop application we called FanZon (pronounced fan zone); it’s initial intent was for sports marketing, and worked as an interactive desktop (replacing computer desktop backgrounds with an interactive application), updating itself automatically through the net.
Summer 2004 – created an animation for 3M (through a company called Medcentrus), showing how their Aldara cream can help immune systems fight many skin ailments.
2005 – FanZon was released for the Kansas City Chiefs.
Fall 2005 – repurposed much of the functionality of FanZon for an application for St. Jude Medical.
2006 – started working with Spectranetics, doing animations, illustration, corporate ID, web site design, tradeshow graphics, etc.
2008 – full ownership of Wombat Studios was acquired by Bear Weiter; this lead to our refocusing of the company on animation, illustration, and video production. We also took the opportunity to strengthen ties with our partners to provide expert solutions beyond our core strengths.
2010 – Relaunched the Wombat Studios web site; previous site was over 6 years old and updated infrequently. The intent of the new site is to update more often, as well as post useful information for both clients and peers.