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Blur Studio Reels In Animation for Goldfish Crackers Campaign


Blur Studio recently completed a ten-spot series of commercials for Pepperidge Farm Goldfish crackers via Young & Rubicam, NY. The campaign is entirely computer generated and was directed by Blur's Leo Santos.

This work represents the campaign's fourth season featuring the adventurous animated Goldfish characters, and is the first time the campaign presents a progressive story arc spanning 10 commercials. At the end of Season 3, "Gilbert" is separated from his friends when he gets sucked up by a vacuum cleaner. Season 4 is dominated by the search for Gilbert by his Goldfish pals. 

"We selected Blur for Season 4 because we wanted an entire season of episodic spots with a cinematic look and feel. Blur definitely delivered and treated our commercials as they would a film or television project, with film-quality animation, environments and nuanced performances," said Salima Millott, content producer, Young & Rubicam, NY. "Blur is not only incredibly creative, but are also just great people to work with."

 


The first spot, "Blast Off," debuts this week, and takes the Goldfish gang on a paper airplane ride out from under the bed in search of their lost friend.  New spots revealing twists in the Goldfish mystery are set to drop every six weeks. This story arc represents the first time in the campaign in which the Goldfish characters explore new environments as they voyage out from under the bed and engage in action-packed antics that include flying down a staircase, going for a spin on a cuckoo clock and playing chase with a hound dog.

Said Al Shier, Blur Executive Producer, "A big part of the mission with Season 4 was to create an entirely new experience with more filmic quality, experimenting with lighting, depth of field and camera moves to engage audiences and immerse them in this animated world."

Blur's animation team worked on this campaign for a year, which included three months of pre-production and nine months of animation. Leo Santos directed the commercials and served as animation supervisor while Dan Rice worked as art director/CG supervisor.

"Each Goldfish character has a distinct personality, from exuberant to adventurous, and the animation really brought them to life. It was important that each could be expressive in close-up shots and they needed to talk and emote with believability. We worked very carefully on the character rigging, color and textures to give them a lifelike feel," shared Santos.


"To help define the world in which these characters lived, we used a variety of editorial tricks to draw the audience into each adventure," stated Rice. "Micro lens photography brought the audience up close and personal to the characters and building an entirely CG world gave us great flexibility. Color and light also helped drive the story throughout their journey. Rich textures, realistic materials and environments made the final sophisticated touches to give top-notch production value to the whole campaign."

Blur's animation team is well versed in character animation, having completed multiple film, television, commercial and game projects. In the Goldfish spots, Autodesk Softimage was used for character animation and modeling; environments and effects were completed using Autodesk 3ds Max.  NVIDIA's mental ray was used to render the spots and bring in cinematic lighting effects.

About Blur

Blur Studio is an Oscar- and Emmy-nominated production studio based in Venice, California. Founded in 1995, the company provides award-winning animation, effects and design for a wide range of media - short films, large format films, commercials, concept art, feature effects, music videos, game cinematics and broadcast design.  Notable clients include ABC, Disney, Universal Pictures, CBS, Microsoft, Paramount Pictures, 20th Century Fox, Sega, Activision, Nickelodeon, FOX Sports and THQ, among others.  For more information, please visit www.blur.com.

Blur Studio's "Goldfish Season 4" Credits

Director/Animation Supervisor

Leo Santos

Art Director/CG Supervisor

Dan Rice

Creative Director

Tim Miller

 Executive Producer

Al Shier

Producer

Tom Slovick

FX Supervisor

Brandon Riza

Production Coordinator

Rachel de Jong

Layout

Franck Balson

Jeff Fowler

Andrew Grisdale

David Nibbelin

Leo Santos

Character Modeling

Chris Grim

James Ku

Jason Martin

Environment and Prop Modeling

Chris Bedrosian

Simon Blanc

Darren Butler

Zack Cork

Kris Kaufman

Rigging

Steven Caron

Enoch Ihde

Michael Stieber

Animation

Jeff Fowler

Jason Hendrich

Bryan Hillestad

Michael Loeck

Nick Maw-Naing

Leo Santos

Rini Sugianto

Jon Vener

Hair and Cloth Simulation

Jon Jordan

Becca Baldwin

Lighting and Compositing

Chris Bedrosian

Simon Blanc

Darren Butler

Jinho Jang

Brian Prince

Dan Rice

Fabio Stabel

Dan Woje

FX

Johanes Kurnia

Torbjorn Olsson

Brandon Riza

Technical and QC Supervisors

Shaun Absher

Steven Caron

Ben Durkin

Sze Jones

Michael Stieber

Concept Design

Chuck Wojtkiewicz

Sean McNally

Hugo Martin

Francisco Ruiz

Graphic Design

Jennifer Miller

Norn Jordan

Harry Frank

Production Assistant

Amanda Powell

Tools and Scripts

Karl "Krash" Goldshmidt

Eric Hulser

 

Programming and Systems Administration

Duane Powell

Jeremy Donahue

Paul Huang

Matt Newell

Composer

Rob Cairns

Sound Design and 5.1 Mix

Gary Zacuto

Shoreline Studios

 


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