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Uli Meyer Studios Pushes Buttons For B Sky B

With a brief from client B Sky B to create a composite of classic British rock icons, London-based Uli Meyer Studios has delivered Li'l Red Button Man, a rockin' 3D character who embodies the new interactive features of the network's digital broadcasting. The commercial begins with a track into a remote control on a coffee table in front of a wide screen television. The red button on the remote becomes the hair of the character Li'l Red, as he levitates out of the remote while the coffee table and wide-screen television become a rock stage. The music kicks in and Li'l Red comes to life. With lips (and a voice) reminiscent of Mick Jagger and hair like Simply Red's Mick Hucknall, Li'l Red gyrates around the stage, singing a saucy song into the camera exclaiming, "Push my button, baby!" Interactive menus appear on the TV screen behind him as he describes the new features. When creating "Li'l Red," Uli Meyer wanted to avoid CGI photo-realism and instead deliver a more "cartoon-style" animation. By using traditional 2D techniques for the textures and styling of the character, then applying them to the 3D environment using Maya, the studio feels as though it accomplished its mission. "We applied our expertise from classical animation to bring this digital character to life," said director Uli Meyer. "The computer is a great tool, but what makes this project work so well is the performance our classical animators injected into the character." The project, headed by CGI supervisor Leo Sanchez, was entirely animated and lit using Maya render and composited in Maya and After Effects. Other credits for "Li'l Red" include senior creative director Martin Delamere, copy writer Rafaela Perera, producer Cleo Hodgkinson and assistant producer Dan Morgan.