Where Did All the Water Go?
Every once in a while, a cause comes along that’s close to our hearts and in this case, close to our homes. The drought in California is an issue that we can’t run from, and we can’t ignore. So when Omelet approached us to help spread the word about their Save The Drop project, a water conservation awareness campaign in conjunction with Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, we couldn’t help but participate in such an important project.
Omelet sent over an amazing guide for us to use of the drop’s many emotions that he could express. From happy to disgust to surprised to classic “ are you kidding me” face. How do we bring this little water drop to life without a mouth or eyebrows. Playing with the different eye shapes like the pupil and manipulating the shape to look like a traditional eye shape to a cartoon round shape helped tremendously. We even made an uber happy face by adding the impressing of cheeks on his face.
Omelet came to us with an already established art style that they would use for their print campaign. Limited to a 3 color palette, and a play on negative and positive shapes gave the impression of something being screenprinted, so we did that very thing. In order to get that screen printed feel, we mimicked how traditional animation works.
If you imagine taking a picture of every single frame by hand, each frame and texture would only move when taken. We even dropped the framerate from a traditional 24 to 12 to get that steppiness that we admired from stop motion films.
99 Problems but a Drought Ain’t One.
How do we articulate the current urgency to get people to save water? Omelet and the LA Mayor’s office did a great job on writing a character that really quite frankly guilted you into saving water but had time to write in moments of humour to offset that tone.
In order to achieve that humour, we had to go through many iterations of timing adjustments and animation tweaks. Also it helps to have the amazing Steve Carell narrating what we can do to be the change.
The Beautiful California Landscape. Tons of research of California plants was given to us to explore what fits into this scene.
The Drop is Here to Stay
There aren’t a lot of rules around here, but one of them is if you can combine illustrative character design, animation, and a great cause that’s sole purpose is to help spread awareness on water conservation – you’ve gotta do it. Not to mention the opportunity to listen to Steve Carell’s sweet, sultry voice over and over while we were animating… that there is a thing a grown man only dreams of.
Day dreams aside, we’re very proud to be involved in the campaign, and look forward to the good it will hopefully spread for the state we call home.