Insights & Inspiration

— Keep Creating

It has never been more important to bring a personal touch to every pixel, add warmth and humanity to the digital and bring people together through shared experiences.

Below we have pulled together a selection of projects and techniques that champion the power of storytelling in all its forms to help inform, inspire and entertain at this time.

Artful & ingenious live-action approaches

With limitations on shooting still in play, we have selected a handful of examples that demonstrate a variety of ingenious solutions and approaches that blend live-action with subtle or, in the case of PlayStation, more obvious visual effects!

shynola audi what is music commercial live action dancer pink yellow split screen

Shynola | Audi

This beautifully synchronised piece shows two separate protagonists shot individually, their movements harmonised through clever editing and subtle VFX.

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Smith & Foulkes Temptations Cat Attack live action character design

Smith & Foulkes | Temptations

Smith & Foulkes humorously depict a life-size cat causing terror amongst a miniature set filled with animated characters, exploring how the real life can be cleverly combined with the handcrafted or animated.

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Puppets, People and Sets

Working closely with our partnering studios we are continuing work on stop-motion projects. The House, our animated series with Netflix is currently being worked on remotely with restricted numbers of people on set. We also have several other, large scale commercial stop-motion projects in production and delivering soon. Check out some stop-motion inspiration below.

Jack Cunningham | Hometree

This charming stop-motion piece features a family of mice living in a beautifully realised tree home, created in collaboration with Andy Gent.

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Conor Finnegan | Be Together, Not the Same

Conor’s carefully crafted spot mixes puppetry and subtle animation with live-action, creating a distinctive aesthetic which adds to the universal charm and appeal of the spot.

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The illustrative, hand-painted or hand-drawn

2D animation involves flat artwork coming to life through movement. This artwork may be created by hand using pencil or paint on paper, or other traditional methods, or it may be created digitally within computer software. It can be used for a variety of things from heartwarming stories with detailed character design to title sequences or infographics.

Smith & Foulkes | Take on History

Smith and Foulkes take us on a beautifully illustrated and animated journey through the evolution of the Wimbledon tennis tournament for the AELTC, taking inspiration from a variety of cultural influences and aesthetics.

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Robertino Zambrano | ESPN

A hybrid of frame-by-frame 2D animation and 3D, finished in a punk-rock inspired comic-book aesthetic to bring to life some insightful and surprising sporting stories.

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Samsung Moon Felix Massie 2D animation

Felix Massie | Moon

Felix remembers Samsung’s early beginnings in this two-part campaign. An animated trip down memory lane from to the iconic landing on the moon, tracing the company’s evolution alongside society’s own developments.

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manshen lo glas animation festival illustration drawing character design

Manshen Lo | GLAS Signal Film 2019

An intriguing sequence charmingly brought to life to capture a mood of quiet and introspection, aiming to capture movement ‘in-between seriousness and playfulness’.

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Clean, simple or complex and detailed CG craft

3D animation is sometimes also referred to as Computer Graphics, or CG. This is a form of animation where characters, props and environments are generated as 3D models within computer software. Whether you’re looking for hyper-real detail, to create detailed abstract worlds or quirky imaginative creatures, 3D allows a great sense of flexibility.

Milka Goodness Sam Southward stop motion animation cows

Sam Southward | Goodness

This may look like stop-motion but this is digital stop-motion. The result is a beautifully crafted CG miniature wonderland which takes viewers on an informative but humorous journey.

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Smith & Foulkes | Magic Carpet

We soared the skies through deserts, forests and ice caps in this magic carpet ride for HP. A vibrant tale, created by Smith & Foulkes exploring imaginative ways to keep learning in lockdown fun.

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Smith & Foulkes McVitie's Sweeter Together 3d animation character design

Smith & Foulkes | Sweeter Together

Perhaps one of our ‘sweetest’ animation projects ever was brought to life in 3D, allowing for some elements to remain charming and soft whilst other aspects such as the crane, machines and building site to feel highly realistic.

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Laurie Rowan | Hole

A quirky and playful piece of CGI craft, with a clean and bright aesthetic. A good demonstration of the sense of character and charm that can be achieved.

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Making the ordinary, extraordinary through Creative Tech

Using real-time we can create tools that make conversations with an audience more spontaneous and immediate. Personalized XR (augmented / virtual reality / mixed reality) experiences or bespoke apps and games are a great way to captivate audiences through imaginative and interactive content. You can place animated objects into living rooms, generate rewards for finding clues or simply create a cool and fun facial filter. All of this can be accessed by the device in the palm of our hands.

Nexus Interactive Arts x Felix Massie | Right Runner

This dynamic and interactive game was made using real-time technology, allowing children to move through multiple levels and win rewards as they learn more and more about their individual rights.

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Nexus Interactive Arts | Civilisations XR

Bring some of the world’s most precious artifacts into your living room. Developed alongside Magic Leap and the BBC, the experience allows users to interact with hyper-realistic, animated artifacts.

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Nexus Studios Big Bang AR

Nexus Interactive Arts | Big Bang AR

Bringing the birth of the universe into the palm of your hand, this multi-award winning AR experience explores the beginning of time with explosive visuals and detailed 360 breakdowns.

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An animated Childish Gambino singing and dancing in Los Angeles

Mark Perrett | Childish Gambino AR

Have a dance off with Gambino any time, anywhere. This experience transforms Gambino into an AR character that appears in the real world and invites you to mimic his signature moves.

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Beautifully detailed photorealism

CGI allows us to portray real objects, creatures, cars, architecture, products (whatever you have in mind) in an array of contexts that may not ever be achievable ‘in camera’. Schedules permitting, almost anything can be achieved and to an incredibly realistic level. You can turn summer into winter, build vast city scapes or craft intricate photoreal, winding weeds and have them burst through buildings, pavements and streets as we did with Umpqua Bank below.


Smith & Foulkes | ‘Comet’

Directed by Nexus Studios’ Smith & Foulkes, Honda ‘Comet’ was crafted entirely in CG for RPA and depicts the arrival of the Honda Civic Type R as a not-to-be-missed celestial event.

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Creative recycling, mixing & collaborating

Whether you have live-action plates, found footage or other kinds of existing material you can layer animated and digital content over the top to create depth, intrigue and a mixed media effect. While working from home we can harness the diverse power of the creative community to make a shared vision as we did with Dropbox below.

Alex Courtès Cassius Go Up live action film

Alex Courtes | Go Up

Alex cleverly uses found footage to create a humourous dialogue and showcases the possibilities of what can be achieved without having to necessarily shoot anything from scratch. The piece went on to win a ukmva.

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Dropbox Creative Freedom Johnny Kelly animation live action 3D stop motion

Johnny Kelly | Creative Freedom

A shining example of what can be achieved when you reach out to the creative community. The film highlights a range of techniques from live action, stills photography, 2D animation, 3D animation, illustration, stop motion and even knitting.

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Animated film, directed in real-time

We’ve been experimenting with real-time production and how it can inform more traditional animation pipelines for a number of years. ‘Real-time’ essentially means that animated content can be directed instantaneously, rather than having to be rendered out several times. This is ideal for quicker turnaround social content but is advancing every day and the possibilities are far greater.

Fx Goby & Hélène Leroux | Back to the Moon

A film produced using a real-time pipeline to celebrate pioneering illusionist Georges Méliès. The film launched as the first ever virtual reality 360 interactive Google Doodle and is now also available as an AR experience. Most content produced in this way can be transformed into multiple assets, making it a nimble and effective production solution.

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Typographic effects and aesthetics

Whether you are trying to tell a detailed story, pass on important information, bring historical or made up tales to life, you can artfully portray your message through a range of typographic styles and techniques.

Nicolas Ménard | Get Creative at 116 Wooster

This bold and distinctive project is a great example of how to bring words to life with personality and punch. A great way to encourage a call to action and get a particular message across.

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Robertino Zambrano | Accents

This more linear and fluid example shows how stories can be brought imaginatively and beautifully to life. This is a good demonstration of Robertino’s distinctive style and how the individual voice of our directors always shines through.

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