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Red Sky Serves Up New Spots For Chili's

Red Sky's Boston office (formerly Olive Jar Studios, Inc.) has wrapped on the new integrated television campaign for Chili's Grill & Bar. Chili's and the Austin, Texas ad agency GSD&M developed the creative concept for 30-second "Butterfly." The spot begins at sunrise when a chili pepper character, hanging from a tree and back lit by a morning sky, appears to pulse or "breathe" deeply. As the day draws on, the chili pepper metamorphoses into a mushroom, sprouts wings and flies away to land atop a sizzling fajita. To achieve this effect, the Red Sky artists drew the chili pepper by hand, then scanned each sequential image into a Silicon Graphics work station. After creating wire frame animation sequences in Maya, Red Sky's animators then converted the sequences to CAD files, which in turn guided the building of 3D models. Next, they printed each side of the models with a Zcorp 402 3D printer and placed them on a miniature set. The last step was to film the models in stop-motion, one prop per frame. "This method marries the best of both computer-generated imagery and studio techniques -- maneuverability and a realistic, organic feeling," explains Matthew Charde, vice president/executive producer at Red Sky's Boston office. "We call our process '3D Printed Imagery,' and we don't know of anyone else doing it." Red Sky's crew was: Bryan Papciak, director; Franny Reynolds, senior producer; Amy Murphy, co-producer; Jaime Maxfield and Jake Bauming, 2D animators; Evan Olson, CG animator; Jeff Sias and Chris Hayes, 3D animators; Judy Rubin, head sculptor; Chris Fitch, head model maker/rigging; Joey Kolbe, camera operator/DP; and Adrienne Krevitz, model maker.

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Dan Sarto is Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network.