Gold Awards and More for MDSX Missing Person

Created from just three still images, this latest spot for Middlesex Hospital Cancer Center is a tour de force of creative thinking coupled with incredibly skillful animation and effects.

Missing Person tells the story in first person of the tenacious courage of three amazing people, Kirk, Christine and Cemmy, and their individual fight to survive cancer with the help of Connecticut’s Middlesex Hospital.

Creatively we opted for an ultra slow motion, weightless feel to emphasize the sensitivity surrounding the subject and to capture the triumph of survival. Juxtapose this with fast moving, beautiful and innovative VFX used here to illustrate the amazing power of the medical technology used to bring about this result.

Part of a continuing campaign, Missing Person, took top honors at the 2014 Advertising Club of Connecticut. The campaign swept no fewer than 8 gold awards. Later the same month the Connecticut Art Directors Club gave it their order of excellence – a nice moment of recognition.

Created and animated in Adobe After Effects. VFX extras use Real Viz, Trap Code and Sapphire plug-ins.

ZERO In – Let’s Go Places!

Spring has sprung and tax day blues have turned to eco-green thoughts. So, now is the time for all good people to come to the aid of the party and get down to your Toyota dealer’s ZERO IN EVENT. Shake up your life, have some fun and help out the planet.

This zippy little special offer campaign of five spots on steroids was created in two weeks flat, made possible by the fun, creative and collaborative team effort between Little Fluffy Clouds and the agency of record.

The car was created and animated in Maya. The 3D camera data was exported to Adobe After Effects, where all other elements were added as needed to be able to change out offers on a clicks notice.

Prius, it’s the Number One car line in California. Treat yourself get a fantabulous deal on a Toyota Prius and Let’s Go Places!

Note from a Judge on MDSH Common Thread Campaign

We’ve written before about the Middlesex Hospital, Common Thread, TV spot. You’ve heard me talk about how tradition embraces modern technology and infuses both with humanity. All of which is the essence and simple truth of this campaign.

Over the year since the ad first aired the spot was entered into a number of award shows. One after another the spot and it’s online media adjuncts won or placed each time. However, it’s not often that you get to hear exactly what the judges think of your work but just this one time we did.

The quote here comes from, Jason Carreiro, speaking for the judges of the 2013 Connecticut Art Directors Club Awards.

Hospital and healthcare advertising tends to be fairly predictable — smiling patients and doctors in pristine hospital rooms with a reassuring voice-over and a tasteful piano soundtrack. The Middlesex Hospital TV spot surprised me with it’s bold execution. The beautiful, high-contrast animation and swirling, vibrant colors have an immediate wow-factor that forces the viewer to sit up and take notice.
The campaign narrative, The Smarter Choice for Care, speaks to the fact that Middlesex Hospital does things differently — embracing new technologies and ways of thinking about medicine and patient care. The design execution supports that claim perfectly. The spot is a wonderful example of how a creative execution can really make a concept sing.

Common Thread took the Connecticut Art Directors Club, Judges Award, plus three more Gold awards. Later that same year the commercial took three Gold Awards at the Advertising Club of Connecticut and was a finalist in the 2013 Global Awards. All of which made our hearts sing at a job well done.

Tweet your Love to Toyota #TrueStory

You know how Toyota owners love their cars? Yes we do! Well Toyota fans everywhere often post to #TrueStory on Twitter to say why. So it seemed only right to give this love a wider audience and make a series of spots to show the world just how dedicated we are!

In, #TrueStory, a campaign made for the newly minted, HL&P, we took these “tweets of love” and placed them in the center of our vision. Atop of these, text thought bubbles, sit tiny worlds made up of miniature sets showcasing the essence of this grass roots celebration. Each vignette brings a riot of color and an ingenious mix of tangible materials with just a tad of whimsy on that same reality. Everything is playful, modern and fun. And better still these spots leap off the screen every time they play on the TV or the web.

Sometimes an entire campaign of spots is a lovely thing to do. You get to play out a theme in more ways than one. For, Toyota #TrueStory, we got to explore and blur the edges of reality across all these commercials. These tiny worlds, based on Toyota owners’ tweets, make for a lively animated campaign indeed. So, text your love to, Toyota #TrueStory, and Let’s Go Places!

Retin-A Micro – Exceedingly Good!

Creating interesting imagery for complex medical applications is no easy task. There are strict FDA guidelines to adhere to, seemingly insurmountable regulations and a plethora of almost incomprehensible technical language to distill into copy that can be easily understood by your fellow human being – or as our copy writer would say: Exceedingly hard!

But it can be done if you’re lucky enough to find a client that believes in their product enough to allow it to stand out from the crowd. “Let it be engaging and entertaining…” while getting the message across, was the brief.

In, Retin-A Micro, we take the viewer on a journey through a stylized creation of the product and illustrate, in a technical way, just how and why the product works. And it really does. Some things are magic and some things are just pure science at work.

Created as a video wall installation in Autodesk Maya, RETIN-A Micro, joins the Little Fluffy Clouds lexicon of award winners. The production received an Honorable Mention at the 2011 CLIO HEALTHCARE AWARDS and also captured an Award of Excellence at the 2012 RX CLUB AWARDS. So, we concur, Exceedingly Good!

For Power of Sound a Review Worth Having

When Ian Lumsden, the UK’s most revered animation blogger, reviews your work it’s more than an honour. It’s a testament to his unwavering ability to sort through all noise, and regardless of paid PR, level the playing field. His focus is on good animation and speaks only to that. So, it is in itself a reassurance that even in this commercially overloaded world, and somewhere within the overcrowded bandwidth, there’s a person out there of great wit and intelligence who notices – and some how it makes it all worthwhile.

Thank you Ian for everything you do to promote incredible animation from around the world with no thought of financial gain and industry sway. Yours is a review worth having.

It is a pleasure to see the work of skilled professionals and Jerry van de Beek and Betsy de Fries (littlefluffyclouds) are consummate professionals. Bose: The Power of Sound embraces a host of animation techniques, from 2D to 3D to origami. Jerry is a master, artist and technician both, employing whatever software, or scissors, it takes to convey the message.
Given a high end product like Bose, it figures the one minute piece requires something extra special. Technologically advanced article waveforms emanate from the music itself, scissored horses and cranes soar through the skies and scarlet sampans traverse the ocean; there is even a mathematical Fibonacci sequence of numbers in free flight.
This orchestral and visual feast is a masterclass. I’ve not asked but I guess the ad is linked to the tsunami that hit Japan. The giant wave crashes down and soaring out of the explosion red flowers climb towards the moon. It seems like a rebirth to me, a proud nation responding to devastating adversity.
I need to add that I had intended, and still do, to write about two other ads in the small (in size not stature) California studio’s impressive library of work, one a very traditional cartoon (like they used to do it) and, secondly, a follow-up to an earlier piece I had written about on the blog. But I got waylaid. Jerry, by the way, hails from the Netherlands and Betsy from the UK. It’s warmer in California.

Check out Ian’s blog http://www.animationblog.org/ and spend some time catching up on incredible animations.

 

Air – Awareness Campaign for the Steel City

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania is a beautiful city of rivers and bridges with wide stretches of recreational areas but, like many of the north east industrial towns, the air quality is still not everything it could be. In an effort to identify and focus attention on this real environmental threat local philanthropists, The Heinz Endowments, have sponsored a multi-platform ad campaign – spearheaded by The Breathe Project and SF agency, Citizen – to encourage businesses and citizens to work together to provide a solution for the betterment of all.

Having a great affection for the Steel City, Little Fluffy Clouds was more than happy to step in and provide animation, VFX, color correction and motion graphics for such a worthwhile cause. The entire campaign includes on-air PSA’s, print, billboards and a 30 minute informational awareness film.

Air was voiced by Pittsburgh favorite actress, Blythe Danner, whose dulcet tone strikes just the right note to bring across the message. Airs regionally. Go Steelers!

Power of Sound and the Subconscious Moment.

A rising moon, a star-lit sky, a gentle ocean of drifting Sampans, brightly colored fish, tumultuous waves, origami paper boats, prancing horses, soaring kites, folding cranes; all moving in a carousel and dancing through a landscape peppered with eye catching VFX. Set this to a powerful soundtrack and this exploration is the Power of Sound.

Using simple animation accompanied by programmed expressions, Power of Sound, is an interesting take on the character of sound. The animation, running at just over a minute, is a pretty good example of a mostly 2D piece using 3D cameras in 2D space, coupled with occasional CG models to underscore the use of technology in sound applications.

The sampans, water, moon, ocean and background skies are made of particles and projected lights. So, not modeled. The “waveform” is also particle based with movement initiated by the soundtrack. VFX, using plug-ins, comprise the transitions. The origami horses, boats, kites and cranes are all 2D, as is the floating text and the “Golden Ratio” shell animations. The larger shell in that scene is it’s 3D counterpart.

There are moments in the life of an animation when the subconscious takes over – even in a commercial. And so it was here. Power of Sound became less about the technology and the message and more of an artistic response to the shock of the Japanese earthquake and the resultant tragedy. An homage in a way to the Japanese people and a small story about the lifting and triumph of the spirit in such dark moments.

Software: AFX, Trapcode, Sapphire and Maya.

LFC Mercedes spot stars in SIGGRAPH 2010 Computer Animation Festival

SIGGRAPH 2010 Computer Animation Festival – Out of thousands of animation and VFX entries, LFC’s Mercedes SLR 300 spot, Out of this World, made the cut. And yes, we are sporting smiles as wide as that Nokia Theater screen on which we’ll have the pleasure of seeing our work.

Celebrating its 37th year as the world’s most innovative and stimulating showcase of computer-generated animation and visual effects. This five-day international event presents a wide spectrum of computer animation genres and styles ranging from narrative character animation to scientific visualization and from commercials for TV to digital effects for futuristic movies.

If you are attending a single animation festival this year – SIGGRAPH 2010 is the one. Get your tickets here: http://www.siggraph.org/s2010/ Cheers and see you there!

Mercedes-Benz SLR 300 is Out of This World.

The Mercedes-Benz SLR 300 is a machine like no other – sleek, sensual and legendary – the ultimate in bling. Not just the fastest production car in the whole world – with a top speed of 207 MPH – but a veritable goddess among luxury automobiles. In fact a possession so indulgent it’s positively out of this world.

So while the star of the spot is the McLaren SLR 300 undoubtedly the star of Little Fluffy Clouds studio is our creative + animation director, Jerry van de Beek, who modeled the car using available photographs only and without the aid of any factory specifications or a cad cam version. Working with partner, Betsy de Fries, the two designed and directed the spot together. Van de Beek animated the entire piece – writing specialized shaders, applying final gathering techniques, rendering complex layers and compositing the piece in After Effects. VFX extras were skillfully actualized to create a look as luxurious as the car itself.

Out of this World is an original spot designed, directed and animated by Little Fluffy Clouds. Production took roughly 8 weeks – sans model. This sizzling all CGI spot is animated in Maya, composited in After Effects and rendered with Mental Ray. The stunning VFX extras use Real Viz, Trap Code and Sapphire plug-ins.