Project Description

Jumbo Paasei-gen Smaak

Ah yes, Easter. The perfect time for talking Easter eggs. Wait, what?

Jumbo asked for a social strategy in which users submit their favorite flavors, which then had a chance to actually become a flavor in chocolate Easter eggs. The concept was to see talking chocolate Easter eggs talking to each other about what flavor they would get. We came up with the idea of making a reverse stop-motion, as it is very difficult to maintain visual consistency in stop motion with chocolate. The reverse stop-motion approach would mean that every possible shot could be created. This would create a lot of flexibility in post-production, since it could be scripted at any time.

This approach is quite uncommon, since it has a few caveats. That is why I added a bit of process with this portfolio case, to give a bit of insight in the process of making a reverse stop-motion.

Behind the scenes

To make a reverse stop-motion a stop-motion rig had to be made. In a 3D program I designed a rig with 22.5° increments of rotation. I also made plastic replica eggs on a scale of 3:1, since the clay faces that had to be glued could not be glued reliably because of the small and brittle surface of regular chocolate eggs.

The whole design was made modular, so parts could be easily replaced when broken. It would also speed up 3D printing.

The 3D printing process was pretty straightforward. Working with a reprap printer I printed my designs and back-ups with PLA filament. Keeping filament-waste to a minimum, I didn’t print with any infill since the structural integrity of an oval is already very strong.

I used white PLA since it would make the best material for masking the assets in post-production and keep the bounce lighting on the assets intact. More on that later.

The final print design was of a low resolution, since it wouldn’t be visible at all during the photoshoot. It easily saved a couple of hours on 3D printing time as well. The design was reinforced at the bottom so it could be clamped on the bottom of a table without any wiggle

During the day of the shoot I received help with lighting setup. I art directed and helped on studio setup: soft lighting with a colored backdrop that corresponds with the final background color, so that bounce lighting would be realistically displayed on the model.

The clay models were made by two other colleagues. The rest of the setup, planning and photography was done by me.

In total we had 1 shooting day including build-up. We shot more than 600 photos with an immense accuracy, which would then save us a lot of time in post-production.

In post-production we used a combination of manual work and automated work (batching and scripting). We had 4 different kind of chocolate eggs each shot in 22.5° increments masked out, but we could use the same mask for almost all photos. With the help of a colleague the manual masking was done in no-time.

As far as the masking of the clay models goes. I made a custom script within Photoshop that finds the subject and separates it from its background. It then softens the mask border and saves it automatically to the desired folder with a custom name-tag.

With all the design post-production from the shoot done, it was up to the motion team to create the animation by pasting all the separate assets together and building a motion rig out of it. Cool stuff!