Loco’s character development and animation team have been hard at it again, this time working on a traditional style hand drawn animation for production company Stink. Under the supervision of Loco’s creative director Danny Coster, the team set to work designing not just one but 9 individual superheroes and of course some baddies for them to fight, in the form of nasty bacteria characters.
The script features a typical family with a dog going for a walk in the park, set in blustery Autumn weather. They are protected from illness by taking a daily vitamin, this is portrayed by nine animated superheroes that fight dangerous bacteria, restore intestine walls and provide overall immunity.
The live action elements were the vision of celebrated director Guate Hesthagen, his unique blend of storytelling and expertise with vfx and animation were a great match with Loco and the collaborative approach he employed made the process all the more fun for everyone involved.
The brief was to create a fun spot with a nod towards Marvel comic style characters mixed with a modern clean look as seen in the cg film The Incredibles. To visualise this look Danny decided to work in a more traditional fashion and converted one of his cgi suites into an animation studio with peg bar tables, pencils and lots of biscuits! “I felt that our first digitally drawn examples lacked some of the appeal of the Marvel comic style, and so we decided to get some of the best talent in the business to help bring this vision to life”.
Senior animators Greg Manwarring (Iron Giant) and Boris Heistand (Hotel Transylvania) set to work designing the characters from initial pencil sketches through to finished line work…. and yes all on paper!!! Lines tests were setup via camera and peg board and the studio was alive with the sounds of scribbling, camera clicking and karaoke. Daily video catch up meetings were held between Loco and Stink and if you stopped to look through the window into the studio you would have seen Danny and his team miming out their hero actions with gusto and a lot of laughter.
It was only once the line work was in its cleanest form, i.e. retraced with black pencil, that the piece entered Loco’s more familiar digital environment. To help bring the characters back into a modern toon style, Danny brought in Senior clean up animator and digital colourist Veronique Langdon. The pencil work was vectorised and digitally coloured using the industry standard tool Toon Boom. Assistant colourists Kim and Natty worked with Veronique to bring the black and white drawings to life.
Digital matte painter Johan Gay most recently credited with Aardman feature films such as Pirates, set about creating the background environments for stylised inner body intestines and kitchen sets that would match in with our hero characters.
The final look and feel of the piece was co-ordinated and composited by Loco’s Lee Bamsey, including elements such as rotoscoping and particle and lighting effects that bring the family into and out of the animated environment.
Product: Rio Flora
Agency: Ogilvy Russia
Creative Director: Robin Weeks
Head of TV: Dmitry Nikonorov
Production company: Stink
Producer: Igor Rabchun
Director: Gaute Hesthagen
Animation Direction: Danny Coster
Lead Animators: Greg Manwarring, Boris Heistand
Toon Boom Artist: Veronique Langdon
Matte Painter: Johan Gay
Online Edit/VFX – Lee Bamsey
Post Production Exec Producer: Danny Coster
Line Producer: Saša McCartney