Our latest pick comes from a London-based animator known as Menzkie, with a creative combination of stop motion and indoor space in a commercial for Raiffeisen Bank. Menzkie spoke with us about the commercial for a bank promoting home loans, saying, “The client and the agency wanted to show a young couple as they move from a small flat to a bigger apartment. I’m a huge fan of stop-motion and set design, so I thought it would be interesting to mix this two techniques to make a simple, but spectacular effect, where we can see as the house transform in one single, smooth scene.”

The piece is (necessarily) short, but accomplishes a lot in that compressed timeline. “We used a combination of stop-motion animation, live-action and 3D models,” Menzkie explained. “On the shooting day we shot the couples in live-action as they are in the small room, and after we did the stop-motion animations, finally we shot again in live-action as they arrive into the couch.

“We built special movable set walls, so we could move the walls frame-by-frame, from centimeter to centimeter. It was the same with the furnitures. After all, some additional props and the flying objects were added later in post-production with smooth 3D animations.” The tediousness paid off, as the team reached a look that is unique and quite narrative for such a short piece.

“The shooting day was really tight,” he went on to explain, “because we needed to do the live-action and stop-motion animations in one day. To speed up the process, everything was prepared using 3D animatic (dimensions, movements, tempo, etc), but it was definitely a huge task to coordinate the prop crew from pixel to pixel. We used two control cameras. The main, final cam was from front view, the second cam was from a top view. So it was easier to capture the spatial movements with the help of the onion skin mode.”

With this success in the bag, Menzkie has a few more commercial shoots coming up, but is hoping to get some more time to work on self-projects. We’ll be watching!

For more on the production, take a look at this behind the scenes video: