Saturday, January 4, 2014

Professional Work - BES Piggy Pops As Cores da Poupança (December 2013)

Today I come to talk about my first professional work in animation!

It was for a 2 minutes commercial for a Portuguese Bank (BES) produced by Black Ink Prods.
BES website
Black Ink Prods website
Black Ink Prods Facebook

For this commercial I animated almost every single shot (except the one with the bike) and had a very very VERY short period of time to do it. The whole animation production was done in 7 days and one morning. It was crazy but I would be lying if I say that I didn't had a blast!

The style of animation was immediately chosen as for a simple way to do it so the production would be faster. The one big influence and reference was Pocoyo. Not long before I was looking frame by frame at one episode from Pocoyo and I was amazed how those guys used timing and spacing, the fast transitions and huge holds and how it worked perfectly. I said to myself that I would love to try that someday, and the oportunity came much faster than I thought!

The characters were very simple, which was good and bad at the same time. It was good because I had less controls to animate (making it simpler and faster) but it was also not so good because I couldn't do much to their expressiveness, except make them bounce around and use poses that read well enough. Also I had to be extra carefull not to break the geometry or create a (very) strange silhouette.

I animated it all in 3ds Studio Max, which was the first time I ever looked at the software. It was really scary in the beginning, but the guys from Black Ink were absolutely awesome helping me out in everything I needed!

In the end I can't say that I am totally proud of the animation, although the lighting and rendering work done in post-production sure added A LOT, but I know I did the best I could do considering the time limit I had (I was doing something like 14 seconds of animation each day... to put things in perspective: in the last semester of my animation school I had around 9 weeks to animate 20 seconds... with quick math that's 1 second for 3 days of work. You can see the difference. Welcome to the real life right?).
And I think the final product is quite good! I think it achieved the goals that were settled and it hits the right audience. And one thing is true, that song won't come out of your head easily!

It was an honour for me to be called for this project and I have to give a special thank you to Manuel Santiago who contacted me and called me into the project, Diogo Barbosa for suggesting me and helping me out in everything I needed, and to Sergio Martins for talking about me to Diogo (I mean, I didn't even apply for this job!).

Behold the final result:

It sure is amazing to work professionally in something that we love so much to do. Here's to the first of many! Hopefully.


  1. Amazing work given the time constraints, Rodrigo, and congratulations on the gig! Proud of you, man!