Bringing a topic like in-house energie saving technology to a broader public, can easily become a bit technical or slightly dull. So a little humour is never misplaced and no object in your house is more effected by this transition than your draft stopper. Why not let them tell their story?
A fun idea but not as easy as it sounds tells Vincent Lammers, Head of Animation & Design and Director, “The challenge is to keep those stuffed animals entertaining for the duration of the films. So the captivating aspect of this project for us is that we storyboarded and designed the whole shoot and direction from the start.”
The two animals are knitted in real life as a point of reference for the animation. These knitting techniques then formed the base for the newly written software to create the correct 3D look.
The key is to keep the doll like behaviour, so not too much movement tells Nick Groeneveld, Associate Design & Animation Director, “A crucial element is to design a draft stopper who can bring enough emotion across, which is not easy when most of the body should not move. So we really focussed on the details of the head especially the eyes and tail to create animal like movements. The most important part is to create personas that are relatable.”
This feeling Groeneveld shares with the actors Raymonde de Kuyper en Arjan Ederveen who brought the characters to life
by giving it their own twist. “They really brought the commercial to a higher level”, boosts Lammers, “We all could not stop laughing during the studio time.”
A joyous collaboration
This joyous feeling is the best way to describe the project, specifically the joint effort of the 3D team who really have outdone themselves, the voices and the music composed by Joep Meijburg, Sound Designer & Composer, brought the whole idea together.
The music to support the character voices was not an obvious choice. “A happy jingle would give it a very cheesy mood, so we went more for a softer tune to give it a humorous vibe”, says Lammers. Meijburg agrees that a more serious tone, slightly gloomy vibe, has a reverse effect and emphasises the irony of two puppets discussing a serious topic.
The sound design by Meijburg gave the final touch or kiss of life as it could be called. The details bring the stuffed animals to life as Groeneveld already mentioned, and their sounds place them into the surroundings. “The trick is to keep the sounds small just like the movements” says Meijburg. “They both have their own unique characteristic, for example the snake taps with his tongue against the window and the the dog makes small noises with her floppy ears. All this establishes sympathy towards them.”
Even the minister is a fan!