Loose Moose Animates Apple Jacks

Loose Moose animation studio in London recently produced the third installment in a series of commercial spots promoting Kellogg’s Apple Jacks cereal. The two-parter, titled "Costume," combines live-action, stop-motion animation and CG imagry to revisit characters Bad Apple and Cinna-mon as they race to be the first to hit the taste buds of morning munchers everywhere.

Directed by Ken Lidster for Leo Burnett, Chicago, the spot has Bad Apple employing his unlikely sewing machine skills to make a costume to impersonate Cinna-mon. Part 1 finishes with the villainous fruit squeezing into his finished garment, followed by text that reads, "To Be Continued". Part 2 then opens Bad Apple pursuing Cinna-mon, only to have his costume fall down over his eyes, causing him to trip and tumble into a mailbox. CG was used to animate Cinna-mon and Stars circling his pounding head in classic cartoon style.

Cinna-mon and Bad Apple are both stop-motion puppets that interact with practical, miniature sets and props. Background elements such as colonial style houses, the sky and cinnamon sprinkles, are all CG, created separately in Maya at Loose Moose studio and composited into the animation footage. Camera moves were matched using Boujou Bullett, a popular motion tracking software that allows Loose Moose to create multiple-pass effects shots.

At times, the Loose Moose team exposed a green card behind the puppets in a checker-board fashion in order to have the option to matte them off the set more easily. In addition, they often had to checker board a different lighting pass to create mattes and beauty lighting setups.

The sets and puppets were all made by Artem in London. Bruce Hancock at Edgeworx London composited the CG and stop-motion animation together and performed all other post-production.

Loose Moose, which previously produced such successful animated campaigns as the singing Chips Ahoy! cookies and the Pepsi-Lipton Brisk celebrity puppets, operates with a close-knit core team of twelve people and a large pool of regular freelancers. The studio’s facilities include two motion control rigs and four Maya seats.