Computer Cafe Breathes Animated Life into Pringles Man
Procter and Gamble - Pringles
Pringles "Crunchy Pringles Boys"
Vicki Galloway Weimer
Pringles (Procter & Gamble) wanted to pump some summer fun
into its advertising, Grey/Worldwide commissioned visual effects
specialists The Syndicate to bring their mustachioed brand icon,
Mr. P., to life in two spots, one employing a mixture of 2-D and
3D animation, the other an all-CG production.
Your Head At" (:30), the eponymous Basement Jaxx song, a
high-energy reworking of Gary Numan's "M.E.," is the
score for three roaming teens, who decide where their heads are
at while munching on Pringles. Mr. P., the handlebar-mustached,
bow-tied character from the Pringles label, enthusiastically sings
along to the chorus from his home on the Pringle's package.
the animated character, The Syndicate lead animator Domenic DiGiorgio
found himself challenged with granting personality to a logo.
"There are limits to what I could do with Mr. P. because,
after all, he's just a head wearing a bow-tie," said DiGiorgio.
"We had to give him enough attitude to match the song so
I exaggerated the available elements, which boiled down to his
head, mouth and eyes. I had him tip his head back as if he was
really belting it out, then move towards camera so it seems he
could pop off of the pack at any moment."
also found a challenge in the closing shot, in which Mr. P. nests
in a young lady's backpack as she walks off into the sunset. "The
other shots were easier to track because the can remained fairly
still and we could track in 2D," said DiGiorgio. "But
in the last shot the can was bouncing all over the place. I had
to go at it the old-fashioned way, hand tracking the scene frame
by frame in 3D. Sometimes it's easier to put aside the fancy software
packages and just do things by hand."
It's All CG
for the "Crunchy Pringles Boys"
The "Crunchy Pringles Boys" (:15) spot takes its cue
from the "Soggy Bottom Boys" of "O Brother, Where
Art Thou?" fame, replacing George Clooney with three Pringles
cans singing (and yodeling) the praises of new Pringles Sweet
Mesquite chips in an all-CG production.
spot had to do with setting and personality," said DiGiorgio.
"We had to create and establish a dusty old west locale where
the cans perform." The location, which was designed by art
director Glenn Hiramatsu, spared no details, including oil lamps,
a wooden wagon-wheel chandelier, and ten-gallon hatted patrons,
to evoke an old-time music hall.
learning about the concept, I dug up archival footage to see how
these places actually looked," said Hiramatsu. "I used
part of a music hall and part of a saloon to evoke an old west
atmosphere. It was interesting to take my design and hand it over
to animator Jim Arthurs, and to see his three dimensional interpretation.
He really nailed it. However, he didn't include a moose head,
which was one of my favorite touches, but I refrained from saying
anything knowing that would mean another three or four days work,"
For this instance
DiGiorgio had to re-imagine the concept of Mr. P. "I couldn't
have the same guys we used in the previous spot," said DiGiorgio.
"These cans were singing in a completely different genre,
a different setting, a different time period. The in-your-face
aesthetic wasn't going to fly so these cans are toned down, a
little more suave and relaxed." Animators Steve Arguello,
Dave Simmons and Minoru Sasaki did a fantastic job capturing the
old west feel within the animated can trio.
of each can's personality is evident in its subtleties. "The
mouths move as if they are actually enunciating the lyrics and
their eyes close when they hit higher register notes. They even
have synchronized movements, bringing to mind a sort of western
Temptations. They had to put on a good show and they did,"
located in Santa Maria, CA, was founded in 1993 by partners
Jeff Barnes and David Ebner to create broadcast promotion
and ID packages for television stations. Today the company
draws clients from all corners of the entertainment world,
including feature films, (The Panic Room, The One, Armageddon,
Flubber), commercials (Doritos, Microsoft, Burger King)
and broadcasters (CBS, HBO, NBC). Both the Santa Maria,
and the new Santa Monica location, which opened in 2000
to serve its growing feature film and commercial clients,
are outfitted with the latest effects, design, compositing
and rendering technologies, including Discreet Logic Flame,
Cyborg 5D, Commotion, Lightwave, Digital Fusion, PhotoShop
and After Effects. Both studio are Unix-based and T1 networked
for real-time creative collaboration.
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