Meet Kevin, our new mascot.13/02/14
If you’ve been following us recently you will have spotted our furry new mascot, Kevin. Before Christmas he was found frolicking in snow capped mountains for our festive film shootThe backdrop of snowy mountains came from our colossal stock library and was splattered with 3D helicopters and TJ production crew, huge shiny red and gold presents.
This image was used for our 2013 Christmas cards– hope he brightened up your desk.
Designed by our Creative Director Jerome (equally as mischievous, perhaps not so furry…) over the wet winter we’ve been having, the creature was built in CGI – a little modeling, rendering, rigging and we could make him as gigantic, outlandish and huggable as we very well chose. And thus, Kevin was born.
His next adventure – Kevin and the Mini – shows him chasing the classic British car down a country lane. So where did the idea of Kevin, and this black and white movie in particular come from? We quizzed Jerome for his original vision and how Kevin was developed into the big friendly creature he is now.
“It all stemmed from some test footage we shot with the help of the guys at Iron Box Films. In true British style, when the time came to shoot on location… it rained. So we had no choice but to shoot the material in very wet conditions. Looking back through the footage back at the studio, we pondered whether to fix it in post-production, making it appear dry and bright, or what else we could do with it for the best outcome. Then we decided to play with the bad weather and the ‘gloomy’ undertone. Working with this style, we turned the whole picture into black and white to get something quite moody with strong contrasts.” Jerome Haupert, Creative Director explains.
After the initial set up was decided, the classic Mini Cooper was modeled and rigged so we could integrate with the live action backplate. We also reworked the camera moves quite significantly in post to get something more dynamic. We then had the chance to start playing around with our CGI character animation. It was just a case of coming up with a simple narrative to fit around this – something which would allow us to play with our CGI character integration and animation, VFX particles and matte-painting skills.
Focusing on the quintessential English style of the drizzle and a lane in the country, Jerome came up with the story of an iconic British car carrying a “Just Married” couple winding through the small country lane, with the rain beating down… All quite depressing… Until our wacky hero Kevin bounds cheerily down the road to throw some confetti at the car to cheer them up and send them on their way with his good wishes!
We added the church in matte-painting to fit in with the wedding story, and added additional clouds, rain and puddles in post-production to emphasize the whole mood. The shot was then given a strong B&W grade.
Have a look at our making of to see the before and after and Kevin’s character development… wouldn’t it be great to be able to manipulate the British weather in real life.