Adding Flavor to Target

What happens when you combine moving-picture storytelling with a retail-brand behemoth? A whole lot of Flavor, that’s what! Flavor is one of the brands within Cutters Studios—a group that specializes in producing moving imagery through design, visual effects, compositing, and 2D and 3D animation.

When Target approached us a few years ago, it was to promote the introduction of their World of Wonderpacks—a limited-time collection of 12 experiences intended to heighten the holidays for consumers. At the time, we thought, what a perfect opportunity for a Willy Wonka/Seuss-inspired animation.

 

After developing the script, storyboards and animatic, we set out to create Wonderpacks in Maya 2016 and rendered in VRAY 3.1. Maya is an incredible tool for large team collaboration. We had several artists creating low-poly, high-quality models to reference in a scene—the conveyor belt boxes, product environments and cats, to name a few. All compositing happened in Nuke. And because the spot was entirely CG, we had a lot of elements to create from scratch.

After we had our objects modeled, we began placing them into scenes and getting rough camera moves and animation matched to our animatic. Due to the tight timeline, we simultaneously began “look development” with our Lighting TD. The first-look dev shots out of the box were exhilarating. These initial images helped us determine the look and feel of the project. We certainly had our work cut out for us with exterior sunset snow scenes, an interior living room scene, and a cave scene with illuminated objects—a huge lighting challenge. 

As animation in Maya progressed, we created additional visual effects in using Maya Particles for smoke, snow, box graphic slingshot and dynamic cloth simulations for the banners and parachutes. From cat animations and environment models to lighting and compositing, we learned that the specialized talent on our team really is special.

Here’s a look at the full process we followed to bring it all together:

Throughout production, the team at Target cheered us on—encouraging us to push the creative even further. The more they saw, the more they responded; they were excited by the prospect of creating something truly wonderful. From start to finish, their feedback was minimal, responding with enthusiasm to our vision and execution—we couldn’t have asked for a better partner. 

Cutters Studios offers award-winning creative talent aligned under five brands, covering every aspect of production and post-production. Our work is viewed in TV commercials, broadcast, cinematic releases, music videos, trade shows, digital signage and websites. To see more of our work, we invite you to view our Flavor Demo Reel. You can also visit us at Flavor or contact Neal Cohen at neal.cohen@flavor.tv.

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