Friday, April 16, 2010

How to make a Cookie Crisp commercial

Over a year ago I designed the latest Cookie Crisp commercial for Uli Meyer Studios.  First task was to design Chip the wolf's latest invention for stealing cereal from innocent children; a home-made, pedal-powered helicopter from which Chip can hook cereal boxes with his fishing rod & plunger!



The sketches at the top of the page above proved the right approach so I worked up a detailed version in b&w.





Next step was a colour version for the agency to sign off on.  This would also be texture ref. for the cg team.





I roughed out a quick pass on the storyboard based on the agency boards.

Next I planned out a colour key set-up to sell the agency on 'the look'.


Last stage was some background colour keys used in the animatic and as a ref. guide for the finished ad.  Then I handed it over to Uli & his team to work their magic.

More on my work with Uli on past Cookie Crisp ads here and here.  Check out Uli's groovy new studio site here

17 comments:

Genevieve Tsai said...

WOW! I am in luck!! Yesterday I was grocery shopping and I saw the new wolf mascot, Chip, on the Cookie Crisp cereal. I immediately was drawn to it's appealing design and I had to buy the cereal based on that character. I noticed Cookie Crisp has changed their mascot a handful of times, but I feel that this latest one is by far my favorite!!

Anyhow, this morning I was eating a bowl of Cookie Crisp and decided to see if they had a commercial with him. I found the latest one on Youtube, and MY MIND WAS BLOWN. I had to fullscreen it and watch it over and over again--the animation, acting, timing, character designs and props were such high quality, I felt it surpassed many of the American cartoons on TV today! I did some research and found it was done by Uli Meyer studios!

I have been a fan of 2D animation all my life and have held onto my dreams of one day working in feature film animation as an animator or character designer. Finding such awesome 2D shorts on the Uli Meyer Studios site has been so inspirational to me.

From Uli's blog comments I have found your blog and coincidentally your first post happened to be about Cookie Crisp. I just wanted to say AMAZING work on the storyboards, and I love what you've done to make that awesome short what it came to be!

Do you happen to know who the lead animator for Chip was? Was it Uli himself or someone else?

~Genevieve

bazza said...

Hello Matt. My invitation to visit my blog to collect an award was genuine!
http://todiscoverice.blogspot.com/
See my 11th April post.
Bazza

Matt J said...

Genevieve-thanks for the longest comment ever. This cosmic coincidence must mean something . . .

Bazza-what have I won?

JP said...

Matt, MY invitation to visit my blog was also genuine. You've won some cereal.

Great work!

gur-B said...

I think Leonardo da Vinci could not have done a better job designing the flying machine.

Now come and check out my blog and collect your reward.

bazza said...

Hi Matt, it's a 'Beautiful Blogger' award that someone gave to me and the idea is that you pass it to some of your favourite blogs.
It helps us find new and different sites. It's fun and not terribly serious.
Anyway, you might like my blog!(Contains some art!)

Matt J said...

Thanks Bazza! I'll check it out-

Desiree Cassidy said...

Wow!!
What a great post!

You should get a cookie for sure! :)

mannyfresh said...

Ha, I love the helicopter design. These boards are also really great Matt.

Chris Sobieniak said...

Being reminded of going shopping yesterday, and notice the new box art they have for Cookie Crisp here in the US that features the newer Chip Wolf design with the hyper-morphed head and left naked. Not sure if I really enjoy the somewhat revamped look of Chip they're going for nowadays. Animator Ward Jenkins credits himself for redesigning the character for this ad that came out last year...
http://www.wardjenkins.com/Direction_-_Wooden_Cookie.html

I kinda dig Chip's earlier look myself, but perhaps someone at Saatchi & Saatchi or General Mills thought he didn't seem menacing enough. It's decisions like this that often kills my enjoyment for osme mascots (taking away Sonny the Cocoa Puffs Bird's shirt is one example).

Genevieve Tsai said...

I actually really love Chip's animation on both the Wooden Cookie and the Slingshot commercial, as they each have their own brand of personality and attention to subtle movements while the character speaks. I totally dig them both! While I like the design of Chip better in Slingsot, I think I really appreciate some of the facial expressions in Wooden Cookie as well. However, I like the design of the kids better in Slingshot than in Wooden Cookie by far.

Thanks for the link to Ward Jenkins' site, Chris! I have been looking for the exact animator's site for both.

~Genevieve

UM said...

Slingshot was the first commercial we animated after I designed Chip the Wolf for Saatchi's. We have produced quite a few films since then, Matt has designed most of them. Matt also animated the opening shot of Chip on the contraption and the one with the chickens. I animated the scenes of Chip flying through the window, trying to grab the box, going both ways, Gerben Steenks animated the dream bubble shot (beautiful) and Jean Paul Vermeuillen the remaining wolf bits. Andy Murray animated the kids in the shots without the wolf.
I had no idea the wolf was re-designed for the States. Ward did a nice job though.

Matt J said...

Hey folks, thanks for the comments. Ward's version looks great but the naked Chip seems kinda strange to me! I like the look of the 3-D backgrounds too.

vetya said...

you are the man!!!

Genevieve Tsai said...

Uli!

Glad to see your reply and thanks for naming all the people who worked on animating Slingshot! As I said in my previous post, I love your design of Chip the best, and as a fan of 2D as well as artist trained in animation myself, I appreciate the astounding animation done for ALL the shots in this commercial!

I love scrubbing through each frame of the daydream sequence and the wolf flying over the breakfast table that you and Gerben Steenks did--truly beautiful work!! I am in love with it and it's so inspiring.

Your animations and design actually sells the cereal for me. What a great marketing move to choose such a high caliber team of animators and designers for their product. ^__^

~Genevieve

Ward Jenkins said...

Hi guys, Ward here. Yeah, when I was at Laika, there was a decision to redesign Chip the Wolf and eventually we ended up getting rid of any clothing, making him similar to Wile E. Coyote. I did use some of Wile E. images for reference, but I made sure I didn't copy. We did this because the agency wanted to update some of the children designs, but when we compared them with Chip, he looked out of place. So I was given the task for the redesign.

More angular, less c- and s-curves, I was trying to go for a different look. No biggie, though - the clients loved the final look for "Wooden Cookie", and everyone seemed pretty happy all and all. I was happy with it, too. Matt and Uli, I was constantly looking through all of your Cookie Crisp spots for inspiration, wondering the whole time how in the world could I live up to what you guys have done before? It was quite an experience, I tell ya.

And yes, the redesigned Chip based off of my work is on the new boxes of Cookie Crisp now. I've been meaning to do a post about all this on my blog. Soon, I hope.

Thanks for the mention, Chris!

Christopher Sobieniak said...

Ward Jenkins chimed in with...
Hi guys, Ward here. Yeah, when I was at Laika, there was a decision to redesign Chip the Wolf and eventually we ended up getting rid of any clothing, making him similar to Wile E. Coyote. I did use some of Wile E. images for reference, but I made sure I didn't copy. We did this because the agency wanted to update some of the children designs, but when we compared them with Chip, he looked out of place. So I was given the task for the redesign.

Wouldn't surprise me if it came down to that. It sorta makes sense now why that is. The character certainly has that Wile E. going on with the inventions he uses, of course most of us still loyal to the former dog version of Chip would still say this is basically like the Trix commercials except the wolf isn't trying to desguise himself to get the cereal anyway.

More angular, less c- and s-curves, I was trying to go for a different look.

I suppose the angular, morphed nature was what caught me off guard the first time I saw it.

No biggie, though - the clients loved the final look for "Wooden Cookie", and everyone seemed pretty happy all and all. I was happy with it, too. Matt and Uli, I was constantly looking through all of your Cookie Crisp spots for inspiration, wondering the whole time how in the world could I live up to what you guys have done before? It was quite an experience, I tell ya.

All in all, you did the job well and it roughly follows the same formula set before by Matt, Uli & Co.

Thanks for the mention, Chris!

Glad to help, I hope you wasn't mad at my opinions on the matter. I sorta fizzled out of it anyway (much in the same mannter I felt about Coco Puff's Sonny losing his striped shirt after so many decades), you do have to move on, though this did create a divide of the character I could only point to and say there are really two Chip Wolf's out there (the General Mills Chip and Nestle Chip), and there continues to be some ads created with both for either market. Of course if there was a trade-off to be made, I wouldn't mind the Jenkins Chip with the street theads on anyway.

Noticed this one just now that literally puts the wolf in the Trix Rabbit role of already having a box of cereal that is snatched away by some kids. I was literally waiting to hear "Silly wolf, Cookie Crisp are for kids!"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lxABlDYCKwY