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Kellogg's Plundering Pirates on the Prowl at Pendulum

Pendulum has completed three :30 spots for the Kellogg Company (December 19, 2005)

Pendulum has completed three :30 spots for the Kellogg Company and international advertising agency J. Walter Thompson. The spots involve a detailed cliff-hanging plot, combining live action sequences with 3D CGI characters and environments, as well as traditional 2D animation. The San Diego based 3D-animation studio provided on-set effects supervision and turn-key digital post production services by creating all 3D CGI elements,  compositing the three spots and integrating the 2D cel animation provided by a third-party studio sub-contracted by Kelloggs.

As part of a focused marketing campaign each spot expands upon the evolving storyline, like an episodic mini-series, picking up where the last spot ends. ?The story-driven concept and dramatic character animation which the spot called for made it a perfect project for Pendulum, said studio president and executive producer, Rob Taylor, ?Kelloggs creative goals were perfectly suited for our strongly character-oriented pipeline. We had an absolute blast creating the diverse crew of menacing undead pirates. I mean come on, a horde of cereal-stealing skeleton pirates how fun is that!? The spot features intentionally surreal, semi photo-realistic 3D skeleton pirates that were integrated with live-action and 2D cell animation for Kelloggs hero character. ?Part of the challenge in creating the pirates was in maintaining a level of scariness that was still friendly enough to keep from completely terrifying the young audience the spot was intended for, explained the projects animation director, Mike McCormick.

Along with the studios core production tool-set, which relies upon Alias Maya and the mental ray renderer, production involved the creation of a tightly planned, cost-effective and efficient pipeline. This was critical for implementing the extremely high-resolution/high-poly character models.  The studio developed tattered clothing effects with Syflex and even created hair on the decaying pirates with a combination of Syflex and Shave and a Haircut.  The Kelloggs spot also provided Pendulum with the opportunity to evolve their ZBrush character modeling pipeline.

Additionally, production included some exciting effects shots. ?Not only did we get to create skeleton pirates, said Stev Kalinowski, Pendulum FX TD, ?we got to blow them up!  The process of creating the effects involved a combination of dynamics from Maya and particle effects from Wondertouchs particleIllusion, as well as a host of plug-ins used in Adobe After Effects.

Michael McCormick served as the productions director of animation and 3D lead, with Rob Taylor as the visual effects supervisor and Pendulums executive producer. Live action production work and responsibilities were handled by ADN Films, and shot on-location in Mexico.
Pendulum Studios is a San Diego based 3D animation and effects studio specializing in high-end character animation and great story-telling. Owned and operated by directors, Michael McCormick and Robert Taylor, the studio strives to produce the highest quality animation for commercials, game cinematics, film, and their own animated shorts.  For more information on the studio or any of its service-oriented projects or proprietary films, please visit or call (619) 725-0750.

Pendulum Credits:
Michael McCormick, Director of Animation and 3D Lead
Robert Taylor, Visual Effects Supervisor & Exec Producer (Pendulum)
Vinh Nguyen, Digital Artist and Post Supervisor
Mattias Jervill, Senior Character TD
Stev Kalinowski, FX TD
Reed Casey, Modeler/Texturer
Ricardo Ariza, Character Modeler
Rob T. Miller, Animator 
Julian Palacios, Animator 
Emil Bidiuc, Animator
Kevin Jackson, Animator
Florian Wild, Shading/Lighting Artist
Ken Meyer, Animator & Shading/Lighting
Robert Taylor, Senior Compositor
Mark Meloche, Compositor

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Related Keywords:Pendulum, spots, Kellogg Company, J. Walter Thompson, 3D CGI characters, 2danimation


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