EyeballNYC has created a new ID package for New York Central, the Metro Channel's new late night show that provides New Yorkers with a daily fix of New York entertainment, gossip, lifestyle and culture. The 100+ element ID package reflects EyeballNYC's distinctive use of rapid-fire still photographs and edgy, flat graphic animation to simulate a typical New Yorker's blurred morning commute. When asked for one, EyeballNYC produced five show opens, with original music, as well as numerous ID elements, bumpers, lower thirds, credit beds and re-opens.
Visual effects studio Rhinoceros Effects has recently finished a new spot for health insurance group Empire Blue Cross/Blue Shield and agency Gotham Inc. Titled Beacon, the spot combines photo-realistic CG with live-action camera moves. The Beacon butterflies that star in the spot required deep work in CG, but shooting the live materials was also very important, said director Harry Dorrington. We shot the room using very slow moves, as well as capturing light sources and background textures.
Santa Monica, Californias R!OT provided design and visual effects services for the new Eve video, WHO'S THAT GIRL? The video, which is the first from Eve's just released CD SCORPION, places the hip-hop diva, along with an enormous Bengal tiger, into an eerie ice kingdom and several other virtual environments. "In order to achieve perfect integration, most of the compositing needed to be done by hand, with each frame treated as an individual work of art," said compositor Klaus Hansen. Hansen produced a digital matte painting to extend the apartment set.
MacGuff Ligne Paris transformed Kraft's Jello gelatin and pudding products into a fantasy of pastoral landscapes for a new series of Foote Cone Belding spots. The ad agency chose MacGuff Ligne, thanks in part to its collaborative history with director Jean Pierre Roux and his renowned spot for Evian featuring a baby ballet of synchronized swimming infants. "MacGuff was uniquely suited to make that magic happen due to our flexibility, says executive producer Nico Trout.
Santa Monica, Californias Computer Cafe provided 3D animation and visual effects services for a new spot for Bayer Home Health. Conceived by Chicago agency Euro RSCG Tatham, the 30-second spot promotes Bayer Home Health Total Termite Control system. The spot opens on a man lying in a magnetic resonance imaging system. The machine's scanning bar performs a pass and reveals an interior view of the man's chest. The scene then shifts to the man's home and dissolves to a MRI-like view in which the insides of the home's skeletal structure are plainly in view.
Londons production house HRA has completed the latest commercial for Cereal Partners Shreddies, featuring Mr. Hungry. HRA director Andrew Painter teamed with Ian Sharp, director at Talkback Productions, to produce a matchless combination of live-action and animation. The live-action component was inspired by the well-known musical version of OLIVER, perfectly captured to create an atmospheric world inhabited by larger than life characters, both human and animated.
Manchester, UKs 422 Ltd. used Cambridge Animation Systems' Inkworks software to achieve a traditional cel look in 3D for two recent projects. Mr. T is a 30-second commercial produced by Equinox Film & TV Productions and directed by Gary Cowan for the Accident Group, a compensation claims company. Mr. T was first modeled in Maya and prepared for animation using the software's set-driven keys and animation features. Once the pace of the animation was determined, Inkworks was used on the outlines and scenes were painted with the Maya renderer to achieve a cel look.
Los Angeles Click 3X provided design, 3D animation, visual effects and integration services for BRAVE NEW WORLD, a new series of television commercials for EMC networked data storage systems. The campaign was conceived by Boston agency Arnold Worldwide and directed by Morton Jankel Zander's Marcus Nispel. Each of the three 60-second commercials uses a vision of an apocalyptic future world as a metaphor for businesses searching for reinforcement in a world being bombarded by information.
New Yorks Curious Pictures has created CHEESE CHANNEL, a 30-second spot for Kraft Macaroni and Cheese and Chicagos Foote, Cone and Belding ad agency. Switching between several classic daytime TV vignettes, the comic spot blends stock footage and a variety of mixed media techniques, including live-action, stop-motion animation and computer/cel animation. Were proud of the cheese-surfing Kraft Mac and Cheese spot, said Jim Shirreff, art director, Foote, Cone and Belding. The universe of television is condensed to a world of macaroni and cheese.
Venice, Californias Blur Studio's broadcast design division recently created a show open for ROBOTICA, The Learning Channel's new 1-hour robot competition series airing on Wednesday nights. Creative director Tim Brown came up with the piece's innovative design, centering on a chrome-plated, flying robot that mounts an aggressive assault on the television screen. Blur Studio concept artist Feng Shu designed the robot character and 3D artist Juan Granja modeled and animated it. Blur Studio also handled the production of the open, composed entirely of photo-real 3D computer animation.
New Yorks Curious Pictures has completed TOONZ CAUGHT ON TAPE!, a set of promotional spots for Nickelodeon. The mixed media pieces are a series of interstitial vignettes that feature some of Nickelodeons characters. We created a spoof of reality-based television shows, showing famous toonz captured in hidden-camera situations, said Steve Oakes, Curious Pictures director. The result is a commercial that shows the dark underbelly of Nickelodeons off-screen toon lifestyle.
yU + co has designed and produced a television advertising campaign for Turner Network Television in support of TNT and CNN/SI coverage of WUSA, the women's professional soccer league. Directed by yU + co creative director Garson Yu, the campaign launches with a 60-second television spot in which soccer stars Mia Hamm, Brandi Chastain, Julie Foudy and Brianna Scurry morph into animated superheroes.
New York digital effects studio Charlex has finished work on a new 60-second ID spot for Nickelodeon, which began airing April 21, 2001. Featuring a kinetic montage of Nick shows turbocharged with special effects and set to a zany classical score mixed with house beats and sound effects, the Because We Can themed spot showcases the networks entire range of programming in a mix of live-action, animation and effects.
London-based animation studio Loose Moose has recently completed work on a 30-second stop-motion spot for Oscar Mayer Lunchables. Titled Make Your Own Fun, the commercial combines stop-motion animation and CGI to portray a young boy, Dillon, and his dog, Bumpy, who unintentionally wreak havoc in their quest to invent things. The spot used puppets and sets made by Artem Models and Effects. Loose Moose used Maya to create the high-speed look of the hall corridor. Other effects done by Loose Moose included hundreds of thousands of CGI sprinkles that get jet-fanned onto a brownie.
Animation and visual effects house Celluloid Studios has recently completed a series of 30-second Bubble Boys spots for Budweiser. The four commercials, The Agent, Agent Phil, Holdouts and Negotiator, are the latest in an ongoing series of Budweiser commercials done by the company, and continue the narrative of two mechanical, tabletop hockey players, Murph and La Rue. The humorous ads again focus on their pursuit of being as famous as hockey legend Wayne Gretzky.
Creative design boutique EyeballNYC has teamed with Showtime Networks recently launched ShoNext digital cable channel to produce the 12-episode TV/Web series DISC JOCKEY, an innovative, mixed-media exploration of emerging American DJs. Each two-minute segment combines a documentary-style DJ interview with an animated superhero sequence. Music downloads, DJ tour schedules and other material are available on the Website. "Showtime was very clear in its creative direction," said EyeballNYC director Alex Moulton, who is also a DJ.
Digital studio Spontaneous Combustion has created the title design and end logo animation for a pool of 30-second spots, with 15-second lifts, for T.J. MAXXs Maxximum Stories campaign, which rolled out nationwide on March 18, 2001. The ads, tagged You should go, show women talking about why they love T.J. MAXX. According to design director Dana Yee, "Because the tag is You should go, we wanted to parlay a sense of motion with the typography.
Creating what is arguably both the biggest project and greatest success in its eight years of operation, New York's The Diecks Group recently delivered a complete redesign of Discovery Kids Network, a three-hour block of programming aired on weekends on the Discovery Channel. Creative director Brian Diecks and The Diecks Group team were the exclusive creators of 122 on-air design elements, including block opens, next-ons, bumpers, interstitials and promo elements. The project required extensive live-action, 3D animation, effects compositing and 2D graphics.
San Franciscos Wild Brain, Inc. has announced their work on the animated open, close and lifts for Cartoon Network's new weekly series, THE CHUCK JONES SHOW, which premiered on the cable network this past April 8, 2001. In the 30-second open, Wile E. Coyote zooms around on an Acme rocket, interacting with old Chuck Jones characters such as the Road Runner, Michigan J. Frog, Duck Dodgers, Marvin the Martian and Bugs Bunny. The characters eventually fall onto a stage and surround an animated, framed picture of Chuck Jones. As Wile E.
Colorado animation studio Celluloid has just completed work on two public service announcements for Earth Share, a federation of America's leading non-profit environmental and conservation organizations. Working with advertising agency Foote, Cone and Belding, director James Wahlberg and live-action production company Visitor, Celluloid, led by executive producer Jan Johnson and director Paniagiotis Rappas, provided the animation on both sixty-second spots. The first, titled "This Is," is based on a series of 30 paintings by designer Alan Brewer.
Creative boutique EyeballNYC has completed work on a 15-second spot for allergy medication Zyrtek, sponsor of SESAME STREET, which broadcasts on PBS. Combining 3D green text animation and live-action, the company used everyday sounds to spell out Zyrtek (pronounced zur-tek) phonetically. A tent zipper, an electric mixer and a lawn mower together create the first syllable of the product name, while a skipping record, a game of checkers and a stick against a picket fence creates the second. An accompanying monochrome image and green 3D text animation reinforces each sound.
Computer graphics house Island Fever Productions has completed two new commercials for Orkin's "fake-out" campaign. In this year's campaign, which like last years shows a pesky cockroach interrupting the viewing of two fake commercials, Island Fever Productions created the animation of the cockroach, all the additional animation and the final compositing for both commercials. The first faux commercial is for "Timmy Townsend P.I." in which Gary Coleman stars as a bumbling private eye. Island Fever created the CG logo treatment of flying streaking letters.
New York animation studio Black Logic has completed two 30 second commercials for Coldwell Banker. The first spot, titled "Concierge," shows a disembodied head of a beleaguered home buyer orbited by a series of objects representing the many headaches of the house hunting process. Directed by Black Logic's Michel Suissa, the spot uses colorful, high-energy graphics, propelled by a peppy musical score, to highlight an exclusive Coldwell Banker online service that assists people in managing the details involved in buying and selling residential real-estate.
Uli Meyer Animation has just delivered the second in a series of computer animated commercials featuring Okto the Octopus for Kellogg's Variety Packs. In the new 30-second spot, titled "Find The Variety," Okto and Okto's friends, Sandra the Swordfish, The Crab and The Starfish make return appearances, while an electric eel debuts as an improvised aerial for the radio that provides the soundtrack for the commercial. In the spot, Okto plays the "shell game" in the galley of an underwater shipwreck, trying to find his favorite cereal among the eight varieties in the Kellogg's Variety Pack.
Creative firm ViewPoint Studios announced the completion of The Ultimate Gamer promotional spots for the upcoming Discovery Science Channel videogame information television series THE ELECTRIC PLAYGROUND. Using a combination of CGI, live-action and visual effects compositing, ViewPoint created the Ultimate Gamer with a jet pack, VR helmet, rocket skates, gamer attitude, humor and dynamic visuals in order to convey THE ELECTRIC PLAYGROUND as the place for video game enthusiasts to get needed secret skills and codes to conquer the electronic world.