Animal Logic Bring Piggy Banks to Life for the Bank of New Zealand

Animal Logic artists collaborated with Director Josh Frizzell and Curious Film to animate scores of piggy banks that travel across land and sea for the Bank of New Zealand latest campaign.

Frizzell wanted the piggy banks to look as realistic as possible, not fleshy or like anything that would resemble real pigs. Animal Logic design team presented a variety of character models of piggy banks in various stages of ?‚àö√ë‚àö‚â§leisure’s such as practicing Tai Chi and waterskiing. The pigs were purposely designed without a mouth so their eyes would convey more expression and add to the comedy.

When Frizzell decided on a design, a ?‚àö√ë‚àö‚â§hero’s pig was built in 3D with special controls that allowed the animators to make subtle changes for each pig such as a lengthening or shortening of their ears, snout or legs.

Lighting was a very important element in helping achieve Frizzell vision for realistic animated piggy banks. Technical Director Jeremy Pronk developed a HDR lighting tool named ‘imageLight’ that reads the relative intensities of light points on an object. It then creates intelligent spotlights in the 3D environment that are directed to the correct spots on the 3D piggy bank model to give a realistic interpretation of how it would react to light if it were in the original on-set environment.

‘This tool was invaluable for us because lighting was so important and it made it easy to achieve,’ said 3D Lead Scott Hunter. ‘On set I needed to capture a lot of data because there are many shots with scores of pigs featured in a variety of lighting situations ?‚àö√ë‚àö¬® day, night, dusk, inside and outside. imageLight gave us correct lighting situations straight away and this was great for Josh as he could then concentrate on the character performance and didn’st have to worry about the lighting.’

Massive software was used to create the large aerial crowd shots of the pigs as they converge in a valley and swim across a lake. The shots featuring the swimming pigs were complex to achieve as Lead Compositor Leoni Willis needed to submerge 3D pigs into live action water plates, add reflections and splashes, retime and offset their action to create the illusion they are individual pigs swimming at different speeds.

Further 2D effects for the commercials such as day, dusk and night skies, layers of clouds, landscapes, building enhancements and reflections were created and tracked into the background plates by Willis.

The Bank of New Zealand campaign was launched in April 2006 and runs with a series of six commercials.

Agency: Y&R Auckland, New Zealand
Prod Co: Curious Film
Director: Josh Frizzell
VFX Producer: Nerissa Kavanagh
Shoot Supervisor & 3D Lead: Scott Hunter
Lead Compositor: Leoni Willis

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