Our first challenge was to design an appealing character with multiple emotional expressions, without deviating from the wooden toy concept. So instead of designing a puppet with 3D facial expressions we chose to design all expressions as painted textures on the wooden surface.
Initially we designed the hair as pieces of wood, but as we progressed to building the 3D character, we did not feel an emotional connection to Pippa. She was just another toy puppet. Trying to find a solution we ended up using “real” hairs. A small change that made a world of difference.
The colouring of our character was not just a matter of taste. The usage of basic colours gave the older viewers a nostalgic feeling. As the first push puppets created around 1932 in Switzerland used mostly red and blue paint.
After texturing, painting and rigging the character in Substance Painter and Cinema 4D we had a believable and good looking 3D character. That is where Nanda van Dijk came in and brought the character to life, giving her the wide range of emotion needed. From extremely happy to very sad in just 20 seconds.
Animating the character frame by frame, from body to hair.
Lighting, rendering and colour grading focussed fully on Pippa and trying to let her pop out on screen. Not needing any background elements as they would only distract the viewer from the main message.
Jan Kooijman ( Famous Dutch TV personality ) as the voiceover and the beautiful composed music and sound effects by Tobias Borkert completed the commercial.