Collaborating closely with long-time creative partner, ad agency Leo Burnett / Chicago, SimEx Digital Studios recently completed a new commercial featuring Kelloggs Froot Loops cereal and Toucan Sam. SimEx provided 2D and 3D animation, compositing and editing for the spot. The :30 commercial "Storm" commences with Toucan Sam caught in the midst of a brewing thunderstorm. Fierce gusts of wind tow the lovable character into the rainforest as he helplessly clutches onto a vine. In the background, lightning strikes a lemon tree, its electrifying jolt causing the fruit to become a snazzy blend of lemon and berry. Smelling the exciting new flavor, Toucan Sam follows his nose to uncover the source. The spot concludes with the bird gulping down a bowl of Kellogs Froot Loops cereal with lemon-berry stripes as the trees residual static gives him a playful jolt. One of the innovative techniques used by the SimEx team in producing "Storm" was creating a feeling of three-dimensional movement by placing flat, 2D objects into a 3D environment versus the completely CG environments used in past spots. SimEx Director Jean Perramon painted the textures for the 2D objects such as leaves and branches that were then pasted onto three-dimensional planes. This established the sense that Toucan Sam was moving through 3D space. Maya, Avid Media Illusion and Softimages Toonz ink & paint system were the key software used in the spot.