Post facility Edgeworx UK and London-based animation house Loose Moose have teamed up again to produce a second stop-motion animated commercial for Nabisco’s Chips Ahoy! brand cookies. Working in multiple resolutions, Edgeworx performed compositing and finishing on the footage animated by Loose Moose.
The previous spot, promoting Chips Ahoy! Cremewiches, had cookies getting “squeezed in the middle” of a group of passengers on a bus. The new installment depicts Chips Ahoy! cookies the new Warm ‘N Chewy variety singing about their imminent meltdown inside a microwave.
The stop-motion animation was augmented with CG for details like steam and the insides of the cookies’ mouths. The biggest challenge for the animators was the sheer length of the shots involving four separate characters.
“The spot called for extra flexibility in post,” comments Edgeworx UK managing director Bruce Hancock. “The hero shot is some twenty seconds long. It begins with a scarily tight close-up inside the mouth of a cookie. Getting that close to the model was to present challenges on the set so we needed the flexibility to create a close-up during post.”
Though the spot is meant for TV, the film was scanned at high resolution. Retouch and effects work was all performed at film resolution, allowing a close-up to be created at any time during post production. Film resolution also allowed the team to enhance the extreme close-up that opens the spot, while adding the CG mouth interior created at Loose Moose.
Edgeworx specializes in mixed resolution post, applying film resolution, High Definition and standard definition TV techniques. “There’s a little more data to move around at film resolution but flexibility is the pay-off. If we’d had to work with ordinary telecine transfers, the job would have been more complex. We would have been getting into tiling techniques and additional footage to retouch,” concludes Hancock.
The spot was directed by Ken and animated by Ange Palethorpe for ad agency Foote, Cone & Belding. Digital post production artists at Edgeworx were Bruce Hancock and Chris Kairalla.