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Island Fever Productions Reprises Animated Penguin Spot

Produced with proprietary animation and rendering pipeline By DMN Staff Writer
Building on the success of last year's campaign, Island Fever Productions has completed work on an all new CG spot for Meijer Department Stores of Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Animation Director Michael Necci and Lighting Director Nick Ilyin reprised their roles in this year's Meijer Toy City Christmas 2001 campaign.

The spot, written by Tim Wallis of Meyer and Wallis Advertising in Indianapolis, IN, features two baby penguins subjecting a third smaller penguin to a game of tetherball.

However, this little penguin isn't playing WITH a tetherball, he IS the tetherball. The penguins start off their game by belly sliding down the ice and spinning around a pole modeled after the real South Pole.

Tetherball is the fifth in a series of Christmas spots that began in 2000 that star these computer-generated penguins. This latest spot features an all CG environment of an ice flow at the South Pole.

Island Fever used its proprietary animation and rendering pipeline again this year. "The software has evolved over the last year to greatly speed rendering and allow for a much wider variety of looks," says Ilyin, "The ice posed a special challenge. We wanted to create a translucent feel to the ice."

The downy fuzz that covered the chicks was achieved through Island Fever's custom Renderman interface.

"The facial animation system was completely revised for this year's spot," says Necci. "This gave a greater range of expressions, and made it easier to incorporate new facial expression techniques into the system."

"The Penguin campaign proved very successful for Meijer Toy City in 2000," he adds, "and this spot will hopefully add to that success."

Island Fever Productions is a full service computer graphics production facility specializing in character animation and visual effects for films and commercials.

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Related Keywords:CG, animation, rendering, Island Fever

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