In a recent three-spot campaign for Kellogg’s cereal Choco Krispies,
animation/vfx house Pendulum Studio was charged with creating
fast-paced, cinematic action battles between children and a ship full
of skeleton pirates, similar to the look of the feature film
Pirates of the Caribbean. The campaign was made for,
and is currently airing in, the Latin American markets.
Pendulum modeled and animated all the 3D animated characters, as well
as created the effects for the campaign via J. Walter Thompson, with
the live action directed by Bruno Musso of ADN Films.
(The video below is a montage of all three commercials in the campaign.)
“We were presented with some vague sketches with the point of reference
being the Pirates of the Caribbean,” recalls
Pendulum’s director of animation/co-owner Michael McCormick. “But the
characters in that film were much too graphic for a children’s cereal.
Se we modeled the zombie-pirates and then went to the client to see
what level of detail they wanted ‘ how much skin did they wanted torn
away and peeling off. It was a fine line of making the zombie not look
disgusting but still creepy.”
Alias Maya was the predominant tool used for modeling and animation,
Mental Ray was used for rendering, Syflex plug-in for the cloth
simulation and adding jewelry to the pirates, Shave and a Haircut for
the hair and beards, After Effects for compositing and ParticleIllusion
to create the particle effects for the explosions.
“Syflex is a fantastic plug-in for Maya,” notes McCormick. “It’s
ridiculously fast for simulating clothes and also allows you to
simulate skin, although we didn’t use it for [skin] on this.”
Other challenges involved combining live action children with the 3D
characters as well as the 2D cel animated character (created by cel
animation company Walbercy in Brazil).
“It was difficult getting the timing right between the 3D characters
and the children. The children on set were acting to nothing and a lot
of times they were not reaction properly to physics or the way a person
would if they were actually being grabbed. It was a big challenge
trying to sell all the movements and getting it all to gel,” says
Pendulum Credits
Michael McCormick, Dir of Animation & 3D Lead
Robert Taylor, Visual Effects Supervisor & Exec Producer
Vinh Ngyuen, Digital Artist & Post Supervisor
Mattias Jervill, Sr Character TD
Stev Kalinowski, FX TD
Reed Casey, Modeler/Texturer
Ricardo Ariza, Character Modeler
Rob Miller, Animator
Julian Palacios, Animator
Emil Bidiuc, Animator
Kevin Jackson, Animator
Florian Wild, Shading/Lighting Artist
Ken Meyer, Animator & Shading/Lighting
Robert Taylor, Sr Compositor
Mark Meloche, Compositor