CAMPAIGN CRAFT SECRETS: Technical wizardry brings food to life in Bacofoil animation. Jaffe Keating found giving food human qualities was a hard task. By Mairi Clark

Most people avoid working with animals and children, but it seems food can also join the list. One of the first obstacles Jaffe Keating faced when it decided to illustrate its Bacofoil ad with dancing food was whether to use the real thing or animation.

Most people avoid working with animals and children, but it seems

food can also join the list. One of the first obstacles Jaffe Keating

faced when it decided to illustrate its Bacofoil ad with dancing food

was whether to use the real thing or animation.



The agency’s first port of call was Bacofoil’s home economics expert who

decided it would be more hygienic and believable to use food models and

animation, rather than attempt to put arms and legs on actual potatoes

and chicken.



She also advised which products should appear in the fridge, so viewers

could be educated in basic food hygiene while also being shown how to

wrap food correctly.



A major restriction on using real food is that it sweats if held under

strong light for a long time.



As the ad was going to consist of five different shots, each taking a

day to complete, a real piece of cheese would have melted after 12 hours

under intense studio lights.



The animation specialist, Puppetoon, was commissioned to create models

of two potatoes, a piece of cheese, an oven-ready chicken and two pieces

of fish as well as plastic arms for all of them. To make the food look

as realistic as possible, casting sessions were held to ascertain the

ideal size for the potatoes and cheese.



The original storyboard had two slices of bacon relaxing on the grill

tray, but it was decided two pieces of sunglass-clad battered fish with

arms would be more effective.



During the ad, each item of food wraps itself in Bacofoil - a challenge

which presented its own problems. Foil wrap is very sensitive and after

75 frames had been shot of the chicken wrapping itself in foil, the foil

was creased and not looking its best.



To counteract the effects of the light deflection, every possible

lighting angle was tested before each day’s shoot. Finally, any rogue

light deflections and creases were ironed out during a day of

post-production at Rushes using the Henry tool, Inferno.



The final shot of two potatoes playing tug-of-war with a sheet of foil

was very difficult, as it is hard to convey weight and strength in

stop-frame animation. The fact they were also standing on their own feet

and moving around made it hard to keep the flow of the shot.



The foil’s sensitivity added to the difficulty of the scene, which was

the only one in which the foil had to be replaced for the final shot of

the potato wrapping itself. As the purpose of the shot was to show

Bacofoil’s strength, any tearing or creasing would have undermined the

ad’s message.



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