Characters can personify a brand or a product, tell a story or just fascinate the viewer. It‘s our obsession to find the exact right balance between all those emotions, designing and generating unique experiences. The ones that have character!
Whether it‘s for a commercial, a short narrative animation, stills or even just for fun — we love doing character based work. With a strong focus on design and conception, we create novel imagery for our clients.
Character design bears it‘s own challenges and requirements. First of all, we immerse ourselves in the world that the characters should inhibit. What world is it, and what do they do in it? How do they react to the challenges they face. All those aspects shape them and in order to find that perfect shape, the perfect visual representation, we go through a process of a broad range of sketches, references and refinements.
Starting off with a rich research phase, we scoure a broad range of resources to define the Status Quo for each specific project. Which characters exist already in the world we‘re trying to build, and in which direction do we want to travel?
Whether it‘s rupturing this status and coming up with something completely new — pushing the boundaries, or navigating the waters, exactly finding a precisely defined course. Having found our destination, it‘s all about finetuning. Each little detail is scrutinized until the perfect fit is found. Following the design process, there‘s the technical process of implementing the designs in a way so
they can be animated. Using the latest state of the art technology combined with lovingly han-crafted custom solutions, we‘re able to meet the goals defined in the design process in minute detail. Come take the ride with us along three case studies which show in detail how we approach character design and animation — breathing life into your brand.
For this epic trailer for the 2011 Breakdance Competition in Russia, we developed the concept of having 16 bit Streetfighter aesthetics meet classical russian constructivism. The bold characters battle it out in the arena.
In breakdancing as well as in all hiphop culture, the style is the essential core of what an individual does. According to that premise, we developed the four hero characters with a specific style and set of moves in mind.
The main guy predominantly does powermoves - the forceful and energetic acrobatics which makes breakdancers seem to suspend gravity.
His opponents all have special moves as well, making the battles unique. In all the style we didn’t forget to keep stuff authentic - being one of the other cornerstones of hiphop. All the moves are exaggerated versions of actually existing breakdance elements, thus keeping it credible.
Combined with all the animated goodness, there’s a layer of real event fun spliced between the fights. Those two worlds eventually collide and meet to form the impressive finale of the piece.
Meet the four heroes of contemporary breakdancing, portraied in a stylized fashion in which today’s urban culture meets russian’s rich historic influences. Let the battle begin!
Welcome to a land of friendship and cuddly warmth. In this spot the spirits of the forests come together to meet under the rainbow coloured trees and hug it out.
Here more than ever, we needed to find the right balance between an over-the top, childish cuteness and a more adult, elegant environment. The brief called for a grouphug, but with an emphasis on not being a gang bang.
So we channeled our inner forest buddies and took a walk with them through the vast white graphic forests of our immagination.
Initally, we had a huge amount of ideas and different approaches, which we gradually boiled down to the group of characters you can see in the spot. Below there’s a couple of guys that didn’t make it to the party, but are nontheless equally relevant. It’s never about quality, which is always topnotch, but always about nailing it - no pun intended.
Carefully crafting the exactly right amount of each of the ingredients is the key to a good meeting, a good process and a good project.
In this forest, we’re in a world in which pure, flat graphics meet realistic shading, thus enriching the environment as well as the characters, adding depth and atmosphere to the scenery.
Each of the little guys has his unique characteristics. Some of them live in groups, some travel alone, but in the end they all meet up for some hugs.
We loved the process on this one as much as the product, and we’re looking forward to doing more work which makes you go “Awwwww”.
The age-old art of origami meets the ecofriendly investing of COOP Bank. In a series of spots based on the folding of banknotes, we envision characters that conjure up the idea of evolution.
Making believable paper in 3D is still no easy feat. Combining this technical challenge with appealing and believable character design is the next step.
Starting with an intense in-depth stuy of the way light behaves on paper, we used physical models of actual realworld origami structures as references.
Working together with masters in their art, we carefully modelled the characters - first in paper, then in the digital environment.
As you can see below, the digital models fold exactly like their realworld equivalent. Now all of our 3D artists can also make origami pieces for valentine’s day.
Using those base models, we painted them with the beautifully designed swiss bank notes and put them in the lush under-water envionment. With the help of our animators, here they began their lifes.
In this series of three spots, there’s a multitude of different animals made of digital paper - we could probably filla whole digital zoo with them. Each of them is carefully crafted and meticulously represented in digital space.
Watch how they live, breath and evolve.