Sydney, Australia-based visual effects and animation company GMD (Garner MacLennan Design) has completed its latest character animation project with the launch of a series of commercials for telecommunications company Telstra. Produced for the Singleton Ogilvy & Mather (SOM Sydney) agency and the Flying Fish production company, the 30-second spots show people in various situations interacting with animated numbers, the message being that Telstra can make numbers work for people, not against them.
Design, visual effects and animation studio Spontaneous Combustion has created the visual effects and completed the conform for a trio of witty 15-second spots for Staples, Inc. (Framingham, MA), an official sponsor of the NFL for the last six years. The Statistics campaign was developed by Cliff Freeman and Partners (New York, NY) and pays homage to the NFL's on-air graphic displays, over-the-top analysis and cult following.
Director Harry Karidis of Tropix and Karidis Productions called on creative digital effects company Ring of Fire to create a new anti-smoking PSA entitled "Living Mural." The PSA was created for the Arizona Department of Health Services and TEPP (Tobacco Education and Prevention Program) and showcases the work of muralist Judith Baca of SPARC (Social and Public Arts Resource Center). "Living Mural" begins with a young man walking past a mural on a busy neighborhood street. He carelessly throws down his cigarette and the mural is set ablaze.
Digital production company noisemedia has been contracted to produce an animated version of a broadcast commercial for Canada's largest beer maker, Molson. The "I Am Canadian" campaign will be syndicated across noisemedia's affiliated Web networks and will coincide with Molson's current broadcast advertising campaign. The company will produce a 30-second and a 10-second spot featuring an original cast of animated characters created by noisemedia's animation division.
Western Images created an animated fashion show to present Cingular Wireless fall collection of wireless telephone packages. In Catwalk, the bright orange figure of the Cingular logo appears sashaying down the catwalk to the accompaniment of flashbulbs and applause, and is then joined by several look-alikes, each mimicking the moves of runway models.
Wood specialists Richard Burbidge called upon FrameStore to come up with animated figures that appear to be made of real wood to feature in four spots for their sponsorship of the television program, OUR HOUSE. The concept required caterpillars that transform into butterflies to illustrate the decorative nature of the Burbidge product - decorated timber. Directed by Markus Manninen and produced by Helen MacKenzie at FrameStore, a small team of animators set out to make the spots visually interesting and appealing.
Click 3x, New York has designed and produced two new graphics only television spots for AT&T and Young & Rubicam. One spot, cut to the Roy Orbison classic You Got It, features lines of type traveling in graceful arcs across the frame. As the camera pulls back it becomes apparent that the viewer's perspective is from the inside of a transparent sphere and that the type is moving along its surface. Periodically, lines come into focus and announce AT&T long distance options. Ultimately the camera pulls out of the sphere to reveal it as part of the AT&T logo.
Curious Pictures' director David Kelley, in collaboration with photographer Butch Belair, has wrapped on a new mixed media spot for shoe designer Steve Madden. Based on a long running print and poster campaign, the spot was commissioned by New York ad agency Hampel Stefanides. The spot combines original photos, digital composting, pixilated photography animation and 2D animation. The commercial opens on a hip girl, wearing Steve Madden brown leather platform cowboy boots, at JFK airport.
Spontaneous Combustion has created computer-generated environments for a pair of 15-second spots for Johnson & Johnson's battery operated REACH Powerbrush. In "Braces," the camera flows down a roller coaster, which spells out "braces." Once the word is revealed, a cartoonish balloon pops up with a live-action close-up of white teeth in braces. In "Professional Clean," a dental mirror probes a CG mouth as portions of the word, "professional" are laid out like a curved row of teeth.
San Francisco-based Western Images has created a completely CGI spot entitled "Balloon Art" for Cingular Wireless and ad agency BBDO South. The commercial opens with the sound of stretching rubber and an expanding blue toy balloon. The following scene reveals the orange Cingular "X" logo named Jack blowing air into the balloon. At the end, Jack whips out a remarkable likeness of George Washington crossing the Delaware. The spot was directed by Mark Dippé, of Pandemonium, SF.
Visual effects and broadcast design house A52 has produced the visual effects for three new 30-second Infiniti Q45 spots. The project was completed for Anonymous Content and director Andrew Douglas for ad agency TBWA/Chiat/Day LA. In "Speed Effect," a new Q45 sits motionless while smoke, leaves, wind and rain create speed tunnels around it. A52's CGI team used Houdini and Renderman to create steam that was blended with 2D elements, while visual effects supervisor/inferno* artist Simon Brewster removed reflections and composited-in rain effects and a group of girls walking around the car.
Holy Cow Spots has created a stop-motion 30-second spot entitled, "Roller Coaster," for General Mills Chex Mix and ad agency Campbell Mithun. Directed by Holy Cow Spots' Shaun Sewter, the spot starts with a lone Chex square that is joined by more pieces, finally creating two complete characters composed of Chex Mix pieces, which ride a roller coaster. For the roller coaster, a 22 foot-long, 12 foot-tall set was constructed. "It took a long time," admitted Holy Cow Spots executive producer David Lyons.
TOPIX has created a computer animated 10-second tag, entitled "Futbol," promoting the new Mennen roll-on deodorant. The spot features an animated Mennen Speed Stick expertly juggling a soccer ball. "After viewing a video of a soccer player bouncing a ball around, I thought it would be interesting to utilize the feeling of a handheld camera," said TOPIX animation director Chris Johnson.
New York design/visual effects house PSYOP Creative has just wrapped on a new PSA for the Partnership for a Drug Free America about the dangers of inhalant abuse. The spot uses an innovative animation technique in which colored inks are poured over carved glass illustrations and filmed at high-speed. "What intrigued me most was how to visually communicate a feeling of drug-induced paranoia, agitation and ultimately the shattered mental-scape," said director Todd Mueller.
New York visual effects house Quiet Man has finished a new commercial for AT&T and ad agency Wunderman. Directed by Quiet Man lead 3D artist David Shirk, "Blue Line Guy" is a 60-second animated spot designed to promote "AT&T Worldnet Service Plus." Set against a paper white background, which occasionally tears to reveal vital information, the spot opens with an outline of an outstretched stick figure using a deep blue crayon to draw himself and his dream Internet service. "From the beginning, the agency knew what they didn't want to see in the spot," said Shirk, somewhat cryptically.
Western Images has completed work on the new ShopNBC campaign. The design package includes an animated logo, 12 promos, 12 show opens, banners, billboards and lower thirds and a "toolbox" of elements for additional programming. The treatment features a montage of 3D objects, plus male and female models depicting moments from a range of lifestyle activities, which in turn provide the basis for the different shows on the network. To achieve an illustrative graphic look for the live-action, the models were filmed against green screen to separate them from the background.
Will Vinton Studios has completed two spots for the current Chili's Restaurant campaign. The first 15-second CG spot, entitled "Cave Paintings," set in a pre-historic cave, features cave paintings that come to life. "We wanted it to look real, like someone had taken a stick and sketched the drawings. It couldn't look too clean," said director Kirk Kelley. "The spot is digital, but its inspiration is grounded in real handmade craft," said David Altschul, president of Will Vinton's advertising division.
Rhinoceros has wrapped on a new Dockers pants spot for ad agency FCB/San Francisco. In the spot, a woman uses x-ray glasses to survey a restaurant and its patrons. "We didn't just animate people's skeletons," CG director Arman Matin, said, "The characters' clothing also had to be visible in the x-ray vision. We had to be able to see people's underwear and other items, so it was more sophisticated than what an actual x-ray looks like." The actors were photographed against a measured grid, so that Rhinoceros artists could build an appropriate skeleton for each of them.
Blur Studio has finished the character design and 3D animation for a new TV campaign promoting NBCi.com. The project, which brings to life the peacock and the "i" from the NBCi.com logo, was conceived by Riverstreet Productions. In the first spot, the peacock comes to a crossroad in the information super highway. The "i" whips out his laptop and soon enough the peacock and him are cruising down the road in a red convertible headed for the NBCi Website. The second spot has the "i" removing its dot and balancing on it like a trained seal.
TOPIX, a character animation, special effects, film titling, type and broadcast design firm, has designed and produced the animation and special effects for the 4th Annual Golden Marble Advertising Awards and the 3rd Annual Golden Marble Promotion Awards. "For the 4th Annual Golden Marble Advertising Awards our job was to give the show a distinctive look and to create a 5-second identity for each of the 32 Golden Marble Advertising Awards. We catered to the playfulness of children's advertising, but the work had to play to an audience which is a really sophisticated, savvy bunch of ad execs.
EyeballNYC has produced two 60-second spots for in-store video displays in 13 Nike Town stores and in the 90 Nike factory stores. The spots will also be sent to retailers like Footlocker. The ads were loosely based on the "Nike Play" print campaign. "It is fun to work with Nike because they always have strong creative to build on," said EyeballNYC art director Tatiana Arocha. "I love how they define the creative parameters early on and then allow me to play as much as I want.
FrameStore has created photo-realistic water and cloth for a new spot promoting the Dyson Contrarotator. Director Philip Hunt decided to use a mixture of 3D CGI and motion control photography to produce the ad. FrameStores head of CGI commercials, Andrew Daffy, supervised the creation of photo-realistic mechanical parts, 3D water and cloth simulation for the washing load. "One of the greatest challenges was achieving the seamless blends during the storytelling.
Boston-based ViewPoint Studios has completed two on-air promotional packages for Discovery Communications. The first promotional package was for Animal Planet International's "Whale of a Week," which features a line-up of shows revolving around whales. Molly McCarthy, associate producer of international on-air promotion for Discovery Networks International, said, "Our goal was to create a promo that would travel across all regions of the world and portray the beauty and mystery of whales, while maintaining the international on-air look of the Animal Planet network.
FrameStore has wrapped on a completely 3D spot for Vodafone. The commercial was directed by Mic Graves through Studio AKA for BMP DDB. The spot features two girls on a night out thinking very different thoughts about what they are looking for in a man. Their thoughts are conveyed in comical thought bubbles as they hang out in a nightclub. But their dreams of Mr. Right are burst when his Vodaphone rings playing the song YMCA.
Hollywood-based pre·duk'shen has completed a new 30-second spot for Lubriderm. The commercial, directed by Eric Heimbold, features an alligator swimming in a spa. Conceived by ad agency J. Walter Thompson, New York, the commercial employs the reptilian character to make the point that Lubriderm will "leave you with firmer, healthier looking skin." "Workout" opens in a trendy health spa with a line of women lifting weights. Straddling the end mat is an alligator pumping a dumbbell. The beast is later treated to a Swedish massage and then hits the treadmill.