Z Animation Lays 2D Tiles

The creative team at New York- and L.A.-based studio Z Animation recently wrapped a new 30-second traditionally animated spot for Bella Casa, one of India’s top tile, bath and kitchen retailers. Directed by John Ryan, the High Def commercial was created by Bangalore’s Disha Communications and will be projected in 4K res in Indian theaters this spring.

The Bella Casa spot features a ‘cartoony’ Frenchman as he gives the hard sell to a young Indian couple on the only item in his store’a 200-year-old lamp. The 2D ad was produced by Z Animation president and executive producer Peter Barg, and animated by Ryan, Robert

Pope, and Lucas Ryan.

Animators Ryan, Pope, and Ryan worked in traditional 24-frame animation, rarely seen today in spot production, and delivered in HD. ‘We’ve lived in the 30 fps world for years,’ says Pope, ‘but this spot was so lip sync- and performance-intensive that it was nice to relax back to 24 frames, where there was less material to fold into the mix. We prefer to do the drawings required, let the performance drive the spot and keep our shortcuts minimal, a trap that 2D Flash animators can fall into. Flash is highly graphic, but also very reliant on puppetry and manipulation of elements. It can be very punishing on artists.’

The ad’s color palette was reportedly influenced the films of renowned Indian director Mira Nair. As Ryan explains, ‘We created and composited all the background elements in Corel Painter, then took them into Softimage Toons, which is our big software package for ink and paint as well as compositing. They’re very subtle; not oppressive or overwhelming.’

You can check out the spot at www.zanimation.tv/recent.cfm?RecentWorkID=22