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CA Milk ‘Kindergarten’

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“Kindergarten”, from the Californian Milk Advisory Board, tells the tale of a cow who has grown up as a part of an all American family. In the spot, the cow sees her younger human sister off to her first day of Kindergarten, an emotional experience thanks to the closeness of the siblings. In order to realize the creative vision of director Fred Savage and Deutsch, practical cows were shot in camera alongside the main actors and it was Method's task to replace the cow's muzzle and eyes in order to animate the creature.


First our bovine thespian was carefully photographed and surveyed to create an identical CG model. From there the Method animation team, led by Keith Roberts, articulated and nuanced every performance of the CG cow head to match the dialog. “Voice talent was extremely important to really bring out the character of the cow. Voice over artist, Jessica St. Clair really gave us great material to work with”, added Keith.

The next step was to texture, groom fur, look dev and light the cow so that the model not only fitted the scene, but was indistinguishable next to the real cow. CG Supervisor, Brian Burke, adds, “It’s challenging to blend CG fur into the practical fur of the cow. We had to not only match lighting response to the fur, but also be careful to match the groom direction as well."

Finally the compositing team painted away parts of the real cow that were still visible behind the CG replacement and integrated the CG model into the scenes. “We even added a little cow beauty work to cleanup the fur on the animal and get her looking perfect”, remarked 2D supervisor Chris Bankoff, “We are thrilled Deutsch let us be a part of such a great project again.”


Keywords

  • Characters
  • Compositing
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