Character animation is something we've wanted to sink our teeth into more. That said, we were more than stoked when the fine folks at Cundari came to us a second time for a Canadian Cancer Society project and it leaned towards a character-driven piece.
This year, they wanted to create something extra special for the 'Daffodil Daily Double' lottery and early on we met up to discuss a variety of potential approaches. In the end we settled on double delivery trucks driven by loveable truckers and loaded with prize cars travelling through an idyllic Ontario landscape.
In terms of the creative challenges, it was an initial hurdle to strike the right balance between realism and a slightly stylized cartoon feel. It was also a test to integrate the all-important communication points in a tasteful way. Ultimately, there was some fairly hard-hitting see-say required and we made it work by placing messages on billboards and road signs.
In terms of the technical aspects of the project, the scale and realism of the environments was a hurdle. The trucks move quickly over large distances, so a lot of what you see in the shots is full 3D geometry. In some shots, particularly the end shot, we extended things off into the distant horizon using matte paintings.
Another challenge came during render time. The environments alone were using 21GB of RAM (not including the trucks with all the cars which used another 18GB RAM to render) and so we ended up having to render the trucks and environments separately. At the beginning of the project our renderfarm only had 8 nodes with 24GB of RAM and so when we realized we needed over 20, we had to scramble and find a ton of RAM to stuff into the remaining 24 nodes. At one point our plan B was to run around to every computer store in Chinatown looking for RAM sticks... luckily for us our supplier had enough.
All in all the project was an exciting one because of the designs and concepts we were able to implement... plus it gave us the chance to really bulk up our RAM bank ;) Enjoy the director's cut, featured here!
Canadian Cancer Society Lottery
Mike Sipley, Cory Eisentraut
Chris Bahry, Alexandre Torres
Suzy Bradshaw, Mary Anne Ledesma
Animation Director & Storyboards:
Rodrigo Rezende, Greg Court
Clovis Gay, Marcin Porebski
Greg Court, Marcin Porebski
Marcin Porebski, Raden Slipicevic, Ben Pilgrim
Peter Sanitra & Marek Denko of NoEmotion
Lighting & Render:
Kosta Lavinuk, Peter Sanitra, Marek Denko
Chris Bahry, Winston Lee, Brad Husband, Martin Waltz
Masaya Ozaki for CypherAudio