Fat Little Indian Boy / Janak Thakker / Character & Creature Animation and Creativeness / contact: janak (at) fatlittleindianboy.com
Jamie’s life as a piece of plastic

Even tho’ this might not be the title of the project, that’s what it is! Kinda. You know that “naked cook” guy, Jamie Oliver? Yeah, the one that weren’t really naked…anyways we did this project at MPC where he would “be” an egg timer. No body or any of that fancy stuff he’s so used to be waving around, just a piece of plastic with his head on top. Brilliant idea huh?! I think it was quite funny anyways. And a nice project too. I was responsible for all the animation in the spot, working closely with Chris Petts, who supervised it all and also put a lot of effort into making the animation rig as expressive as I felt we needed it to be.

With something like this you’re always tripping the rift to the uncanny valley, and since it’s supposed to be plastic we couldn’t make it too fleshy and realistic. It was tricky finding a nice balance to it but I think we got there. Pretty happy with most of it except for perhaps the first couple of shots which I shamelessly just left out of the version on my site. Naughty naughty! :-)

I think we managed to get that Jamie likeness to it all, no?

Something that put more fuel on my “no-mocrap-fire-for-f**ke-sake* was that the initial plan was to have one of the leading facial mocrap studios on the other side of the Atlantic providing us with just that for the spot. However, as the rig kept evolving and being refined I actually had most of the lip sync in place before they could give us anything even close to being useable. I’ve seen some really nice tests and all but in a rapid production environment such as commercials it’s just not the timesaver it perhaps could be in a longer production where you actually have the time to finalize the rig and then focusing on getting the performance right. But then again, that would have to mean that the actual performance shot IS the right performance…I’ll keep sticking to my handcrafted keyframes until someone clubs me down, ties me to a chair and proves me wrong!

Cheers,
Janak

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