Premier Protein
Energy For Everyday
Hulking Up on Good Energy.
Hulking Up on Good Energy.
Premier Protein
Energy For Everyday
Premier Protein
Energy For Everyday
Client: Premier Protein
Agency: Venebles Bell + Partners
What we did:

Project Description


Everyday millions of cubic tons of pure protein is hand delivered to Jay’s house to fuel his wild trips to the gym 3 times a day.  Imagine his thrill when the team at Venebles called with a job revolving around the stuff.  Dude immediately sprang into full go mode.  The campaign celebrates the good energy gained through Premier Protein bars or shakes in a whimsical everyday multitasking way.

As much as we wanted to break out our Wacom’s and sketch up Jay in a muscle tee, this campaign is geared to the everyday superhero – the mom’s of the world, or the businessmen cranking through phone calls… everybody needs a bit of good energy now and then.

Stylistically the gang at Venables wanted to expand upon the characters of their print campaign, but bring the miniatures they built for print into full, buttery smooth CG.  Turns out we’ve got that covered.

Designing Characters is like dry aging a block of Wisconsin Cheddar.  You don’t want to go too far with it, and you don’t want to pull it out too soon.  You want to find that healthy balance where everything just melds. For us, this means plenty of explorations starting with simple silhouettes to define proportions and shape.  The little details that define the character’s personality comes after we’ve established a strong foundation in their form.  This usually takes an obscene amount of sketches to get it in the right zone. From there, we build the CG model, translating those sketched curves into polygons that can bend, move, and distort to the bones of a CG character.  We’ve rigged up a few characters in our time – have the war scars to prove it – and from those we have a wonderful foundation for any kind of character.  Every spot is different, and each rig is custom to allow the character to do what they need to do (like yoga while reading a book and basting a turkey for instance), but the foundation is there.

If we learned anything from our high school trigonometry class, we learned you have to work all angles at the same time. That applies to just about every project we do.  While we’re knee deep in modeling, we’re also building textures and shaders for those characters under the guide of the miniature look of Premier Protein’s print campaign. We took a trip down to “Al’s Discount Dollhouse” and bought up a few select pieces for Brien’s collection of miniature 80’s sitcom sets, and happened across a few references for the job as well.  Using these, we followed the same scale in how we applied textures to our characters and their clothing.

Well before the final character design is signed off on, we had shaders built and ready, textures figured out and painted, and lighting was being tweaked in an effort achieve the miniature look Venebles was going for.  When the character models were ready, they dropped right into our scenes ready to go.

Now that we’ve got characters, let’s make them move.

“Busy Mom” centers on a super hero mom multitasking like it were the Electric Daisy Carnival in Vegas on the 4th of July.  She’s got it covered, not breaking a sweat on the account of her crazy ADD kids.  She’s got this handled. Typically the design process and the animatic process goes hand in hand.  We want to get everyone on the same page with the framing of the shots, and overall flow of the narrative before we get too involved with character animation.

“Office” builds a short narrative around the typical office worker, whose bound to phone calls and meetings in the desperate need of a power up.  And boy does this guy power up, right into a scene straight out of the movie “Ghost.” Both spots were built in tandem, sharing a similar narrative flow, especially when we reach the last third of the spot, which is usually reserved for title cards.  Although we did sneak our characters into those cards as background texture.

To get the miniature look we wanted, we bought a few miniatures from our local store and studied them.  Most nuances are in the scale of the texture, and the imperfections of the build – turns out it’s hard to make a perfect scale model with your hands, things always end up a little skewed.

Like Jay at an All Protein Buffet.

We’re big fans of narrative work,  and jump at the opportunity to flex that creative muscle.  Exploring the characters and the settings that bring those narratives to life is really one of our favorite past times, right up there with Foosball and Puzzle Fighter.

Venebles had a great campaign on their hands when they came to us, and we’re happy to be involved with pushing that campaign into motion.  Plus, we got to build that CG turkey we had our eyes set on for some time now – glad we got to cross that one off our list.