BBC Doodlebugs

BBC Doodlebugs

BBC Doodlebugs The Beeb We were approached with the fantastic opportunity to work on a character animation project for the BBC. The brief was to create short animated clips of three bug characters. The work we produced would be used in the BBC’s comedy sketch show Doodlebugs, a combination of live action clips with animated elements to bring inanimate objects to life. Triple Act We were given the sketches and concept design of the three characters we were to animate. We then created the 3D models based on those original concepts. The result was cute and engaging main characters that the audience could enjoy and that created continuity throughout the show. The bugs would interact with each other in order to help bring the next skit onscreen. Characterisation Character animation is among the hardest to achieve. Each of the characters had a distinct personality, we had the short lazy bug, the tall enthusiastic bug and the flying clever bug. We had a very short time frame for this production so we scaled up our team our team of animators and ended up working with 15 animators. The challenge was to define each character and keep that characterisation consistent across the the large team of animators we were working with. Comedy Greats Not only did we have to inject the characters with their own personality, we need to do it in a comedic way. We looked to classic comedy such as silent stars Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton for inspiration. We referenced their comedy stylings such as exaggerated facial expressions and body gestures to help our little bugs tell their...
Sony Eyepet Augmented Reality

Sony Eyepet Augmented Reality

Cute Augmented Reality pet required Sony London approached us to create many costumes for their augmented reality Playstation game for kids and families, Eyepet. This game allows the player to interact with a virtual pet in many games and activities and utilises augmented reality to make the pet appear to be in your own home. Walk-in wardrobe When it came to modelling the costumes, the main concern was creating a style that highlighted the cute nature of the character. This included exaggerated button sizes, big stitches etc. We referenced many animation studios and style to achieve our costumes look, such as Pixar, Disney and the Japanese super deformed style, known as Chibi (ちび) in Japanese.  Japanese Art Director Masami Kochi worked with us on this project and her guidance in the Chibi style helped us create our cute costumes. The costumes we created covered many themes that kids would enjoy including cowboy, pirate, princess, robot and many more. Good boy! Sony were delighted with our costumes and we created over 30 outfits in the end. This project marked our first foray into augmented reality way back in 2009. Augmented reality has developed by leaps and bounds in the last decade and Bigman are very proud to have been involved in the early stages with Sony Eyepet, a game ahead of it’s time. Similar Projects NSS Faith Schools Virtual Reality Health Highland Spring o2 Home Populus Sony Eyepet Augmented Reality Talk to a Doctor Aqua Card IRIS Explainer Truchet Skillsoft Systagenix NCP Animated Customer Journey NCP Pixar Euro Pixels Vodafone Freebee Gadget Buddy Flex Pollock Pixar Render Farm LV= ScottishWidows...
Puppy

Puppy

Spaniel Puppy – Virtual Pet Cute CG pet required After we won the contract to recreate the Duracell Bunny in CGI we quickly realised that we needed to take our fur rendering technology to the next level. The problem was that we would need to turn around the animation in a matter of weeks, but we wouldn’t get the bunny design assets for a month after the project started. Want to see some puppies? In order to minimise our risk for our client, we decided the best solution was to create a cute spaniel puppy whilst we waited for the bunny, this way we could test our fur pipeline from start to finish and have it all ready to fire on all cylinders once the Duracell assets were ready. Bigman – bespoke puppy grooming salon! Matching the type of curly hair that a real spaniel has was very challenging, as all the different bits of the pup have different colours and different types of clumping or curliness. We had to create a new ‘groom’ department to handle the work and upgrade to new fur software that could hand realistic simulation of the fur’s gravity and inertia.   Data overload! Another problem we faced was rendering thousands of frames of animation, each with thousands of hairs  and millions of rays of light bouncing around them. We will spare you the geeky details but to summarise we had to perform some clever technical tricks in the rendering pipeline in order to optimise the amount of data we had to deal with. A well disciplined pup Everyone was thrilled with the adorable cute...
Talk to a Doctor

Talk to a Doctor

Talk to a Doctor 3D brand mascot animation Animated explainer video Stadn, a global online medical service based in London, needed our help to find a way to explain their Talk to a Doctor service in a fast and concise way. They knew they wanted a 3D animation but were unsure on a direction to take it, so it was our job to come up with an engaging way to guide the audience through each aspect of their product. Developing the idea The service is an online medical consultancy aimed at English speakers both at home and abroad who need urgent medical advice or may be unfamiliar with a foreign health system. We decided that the best way to explain the service was to recreate it with 3D characters that showed real life examples of how Talk to a Doctor can be used. Heroes and villains Developing the characters was a key part of this project and we worked closely with Stadn to perfect them. We created the persona of ‘Clive’, he represents the target audience and is the centre of our story. We also designed the doctor character,  who embodies the values of the Talk to a Doctor service, and a contrasting ‘bad’ doctor with questionable morals. 3D character design We quickly got started producing a number of appealing design ideas for each character. Minimalism was our main concern in the initial designs, as we wanted to present Talk to a Doctor as a modern, simple and easy to use service without any visual distractions. We developed our designs into a set of matching characters that incorporate the brand colour scheme. Story telling It...
MONK DBG

MONK DBG

DBG – The power of data Paper craft puppet animation Christmas animation London branding agency, Monk, turned to us to help them deliver DBG’s Christmas message visually through animation. A magical journey As DBG own several of the world’s largest stock markets we thought it would be fitting if our story was based around the journey of typical stock market data from DBG’s head quarters to a cosy living room environment, where it fills the home with Christmas magic. Let there be light We knew that lighting would play a vital role in the success of this project and so we decided rather than simply doing line art to storyboard this project we would create fully shaded drawings that would use the interplay of light and shadow to tell the story. The hero of our story, the data, would light up everything on its journey. Paper-cut shadow puppets We worked with Monk to develop an original style for the animation. Taking inspiration from ‘Wayang Kulit’ Indonesian shadow puppets, we chose to light everything in silhouette but gave it a modern twist by making it more 3D, as if it were actually made from cut, folded and glued paper. Everyone loved the idea early on, so we knew we were onto a winner. A film noir influence Film noir classics, such as The Third Man, inspired our shot design with a restrained colour palette, maximum contrast and clearly defined silhouettes. Model development We could have modelled everything digitally straight away but knew that if we actually made the paper models we would be able to create more informed work, with the charming design details that would give a warm and authentic...