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EyeballNYC Spells Allergy Relief

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. "Our job was to integrate text appropriate to each scene," explained eyeballNYC senior designer Susan Armstrong. "Take the electric mixer, for example, the 'zurrr' moves in a circle around the beaters before breaking up into little pieces. We rendered the text in Zyrtek green using Discreet Logic 3D Studio Max, then composited each scene with Adobe After Effects." According to Armstrong, each scene required precise compositing to create the desired effect and to inscribe the product name firmly. "Using the case of the mixer again, the 3D letters had to travel through the beaters," she explained. "We made sure realistic shadows were cast against the letters when they traveled behind the beaters and that the correct lighting was applied when they emerged." The EyeballNYC team, including creative director Limore Shur, designer Zac Kinney, 3D artist Stuart Simms, producer Nina Goldberg and executive producer Michael Eastwood, spent approximately one week exploring how the interpretations of the animations would unfold, then another week creating the final spot, which opens and closes broadcasts of SESAME STREET.

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