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Cutting Edge Animates a Flora Wonderland for Cairns Regional Council

3D-animated spot with an ‘Alice in Wonderland’ inspired aesthetic invokes the spirit of 70s Disco to help encourage water conservation.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA -- A tropical garden paradise springs to life and breaks out into song in Cairns Regional Council’s latest “Water Security Survivors” animated commercial by Cutting Edge via agency Redsuit. Featuring floral diva Ginger and her back-up singers belting out a performance of the Gloria Gaynor hit “I Will Survive,” the TVC spreads the message that native plants can thrive in the wet and in the dry without excessive watering.

Employing a 70’s style disco theme, Cutting Edge animation director Ian Anderson was tasked with designing a chorus line of animated singing and dancing plant caricatures. He decided to establish an Alice in Wonderland inspired aesthetic for the hero plants and their environment, matching this storybook influenced style of animation with a more polished 3D edge. 

To recreate the “Alice” style charm, Anderson embraced traditional background painting techniques created in Maya and Photoshop. This painterly quality adds warmth and texture to the imagery, which is made up of a unique combination of traditional and contemporary animation approaches.

“We wanted to design and develop vibrant and lively plant characters that would really stand out on screen and by embodying a stylized 3D look and feel, we could bring the fable-like flora into a new, more modern era,” Anderson explained. “Our 3D VFX pipeline meant we were able to embellish the animation of the plants with the addition of camera moves that bring us deeper into the garden world undergrowth.”

A vibrant color palette was also enlisted to introduce the uniquely North Queensland flora whilr the color design also considers the dappled sunlight that illuminates the garden in a traditional disco glow, shining through the translucent colored leaves.

Redsuit producer Tracey Fraser commented, “We are proud of the campaign and appreciate all Cutting Edge has done to make this such an amazing little project. The client loves it and has really taken the characters to heart.”

Source: Cutting Edge