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DUCK's Tiny Inventions Gets Stylish for Ralph Lauren

A brand on the cutting edge of fashion can't just present a ho-hum website when stylish parents looking to outfit the next generation of cool come shopping.

The RL Gang: A Magically Magnificent School Adventure from Ralph Lauren on Vimeo.

Press Release from DUCK

A brand on the cutting edge of fashion can't just present a ho-hum website when stylish parents looking to outfit the next generation of cool come shopping. So when Ralph Lauren decided to launch a new interactive microsite and video to introduce their children's spring line, they went directly to Tiny Inventions, with whom they've collaborated on past projects. The result is the Ralph Lauren Spring 2011 Children's Storybook, an interactive online clothing catalogue and a video with a fantastical blend of animation and live action.

The heart of the campaign is The RL Gang: A Magically Magnificent School Adventure, a video starring the children of professor Randolph Latimer's classroom. The children and their clothing are live action, while the props and backgrounds are pure watercolor-style animation. On a bright and sunny school day, the teacher sends the students to their easels, from which their joyously colorful creations come to life. River's drop of lost paint transforms the classroom into a natural paradise of flowers and trees. Oliver paints ice cream and cupcakes that appear on the table; Willow draws flowers and a party dress; Jasper crafts chocolate chip cookies; Mae paints a kitten; and Zoe decorates with red bows. The nearly 4:00 video concludes with a grand party to cheer up Elle, the newest student.

"Ralph Lauren wanted something sophisticated, magical and artful that would truly express the brand of Ralph Lauren Kids," noted Tiny Inventions Co-Director Ru Kuwahata. "We've worked with them on previous projects, so we have a really nice feel for their aesthetic, and we were able to come up with something they were really happy with."

The Ralph Lauren team shot the live-action footage with a RED ONE camera, with on-set supervision from Tiny Inventions, who produced all the animation with After Effects, Photoshop, Flash, and Final Cut Pro. "The toughest part was breaking the hand-painted watercolors into layers in the computer without losing the feel of bleed and smudge," stated Tiny Inventions Co-Director Max Porter. "The highlight, though, was dealing with the live-action kitten, who performed perfectly on the first take. We always draw animals, so dealing with the real thing was a treat."

"Tiny Inventions is a master at blending live action footage with whimsical animation," noted DUCK EP Mark Medernach. "Their unique aesthetic and versatility is one of the many reasons that Ralph Lauren - and so many other clients - return to them again and again to handle their most important projects. We look forward to having them work on similarly inventive projects through DUCK."

Credits:Title: The RL Gang: A Magically Magnificent School AdventureLaunch Date: March 2011

Client: Polo Ralph LaurenProduction: Tiny InventionsDirector/VFX Supervisor(s): Max Porter, Ru KuwahataAnimator(s): Max Porter, Ru Kuwahata, Adam Sacks, Jake ArmstrongKeying: What is Aggressive (Alex Topaller, Dan Shapiro)Compositing: Max PorterEditor: Max PorterDesign: Ru Kuwahata

Narrator: Uma Thurman

About DUCK:Los Angeles-based DUCK is a continually evolving creative studio producing commercials, music videos, short films and web content. DUCK offers a wide range of services, including live action and integration, character design, film title design, 2D and 3D animation, digital compositing, digital/traditional ink & paint. In recent years, the studio has expanded, adding an original content division that works with writers and animators on unique ideas for film and TV.

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Rick DeMott
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