Chill – Blue Footed Booby
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Behind the Scenes – Breakdowns
We’re no strangers to avian characters here at Piranha Bar, but it was a challenge of a different variety when agency BBDO approached us to create this pair of unusual animals – stars of the latest Chill Insurance campaign.
Native of the Galapagos, the Blue Footed Booby is an eccentric creature indeed. Graceful in flight but rather amusing on land, the male’s comical mating dance here becoming an excellent metaphor for the merry dance we go through trying to attract the attention of other insurance providers – most of whom seem as disinterested as our aloof female perched atop her little rock.
To illustrate our male character’s vain attempts at winning the affections of his indifferent partner we eschewed an anthropomorphised approach and opted to take a more photorealistic route. Hundreds of reference clips and images of the real bird were employed in the modelling, rigging, look development and feather grooming of our digital asset. Close attention was paid to every aspect of their distinctive characteristics and traits, from the titular blue feet to the colour variation and pattern across the feathers, right down to small details like pupil size and beak markings.
The visual appearance was only one half of the challenge – our cg creatures had to have a range of motion that would allow us to mimic their real life counterparts. Rigging details in the feet made sure they could wrap across rocks and uneven surfaces. The wings, another important part of the courtship ritual, were rigged to fold elegantly against the body. Detailed animation based on close study of real footage brought the characters to life, accurately matching their ticks and idiosyncrasies while also layering over a subtle level of performance.
With such a heavy focus on realism and accuracy for the birds we had to make sure our digital environments would also support scrutiny. Real-world 3d scans of coastal rock and terrain were utilised, arranged to portray a cliff-top setting and textured with high resolution maps that allowed us to bring the camera down to ground level without losing detail. Small flowers and scrub, hand-placed and dressed to camera for each shot, added the final naturalistic details.
With richly detailed animation bringing these comical creatures to life it’s our hope that the audience will engage with the story, look past the technical bells and whistles, and get a kick out of our lead’s frantic efforts – resulting in a visually memorable spot with a cleverly delivered message.
Director: Simon Burke
Producer: Emily Brady
CG Supervisors: Sam Boyd & Simon Burke
Character Grooming & Look Dev: Sam Boyd & Ciaran Talbot
Rigging: Victor Vinyals
Animation: Conor Ryan
Executive Creative Director: Shane O’Brien
Creative Director: Robert
Copywriter: Dillon Elliot
Art Director: Liam Frawley
Agency Producer: Andrew Counihan
Senior Designer: Fionan Healy
Account Director: Ciara Burke
Account Executive: Áine Neenan