CREATING A VIRAL​​​​​​​
After seeing a local animated short film that had reached over 30 millions views on YouTube, Southeastern Guide Dogs thought it would be great to have their own viral short film featuring their amazing dogs. After sharing these thoughts with us, we carefully tried to manage expectations, after all you can't just willingly make a viral, there's too many factors that we don't control. “We would love to get one million views" said CEO Titus Herman. Well, a few months after its release, Pip has now over 60 million views on YouTube, and even more on Facebook!
STORY​​​​​​​
We received a screenplay written by David Kilgo, Richard Mather and Leslie Rowe based on a story by Titus Herman, so we started by storyboarding the entire film and editing an animatic. Even though the script was great from the beginning, we had to make a few tweaks in order to make sure the story worked as well on the screen as it did on the page. The main challenge was to make the story and all its nuances read perfectly clear. The comedy, drama and action all had to be balanced just right for the film to be effective, and since we wanted it to be a global film, we had to achieve all this without the use of dialogue.
DESIGN​​​​​​​
With such a short time to tell the story, we needed the character designs to convey their personalities as quickly as possible. The talented Estrela Lourenço made an amazing job exploring these characters and providing us with different options to choose from. Meanwhile, Silvia Brujas and our animation supervisor Ferran Casas took care of the set and prop designs, based on references from the actual Southeastern Guide Dogs Florida campus, as well as other non related references we decided would work well on the film.
ASSET BUILDING
The next step was turning all the 2D designs into three dimensional assets, consisting of characters, sets and props, which need to be modelled, textured and shaded. Characters also need to be rigged, as well as some props, so the animators can bring them to life. This is where a mix of technical and artistic skills all come together with the common goal of telling the story in the most effective way.
ANIMATION
All of the above would go to waste if we didn't believe the characters. The animators took these static character models and rigs and brought them to life, making them move, breathe, think and feel, in a way that's relatable and appealing to the audience. With Pip there was no dialogue explaining the story, no voice over or subtitles, so it was all down to the characters' performances to get all the story points across in a clear and engaging way.
LIGHTING & COMPOSITING
During the animation stage, it all looks visually quite dull, because our assets need to be light and responsive for the animators. Once each shot is approved in animation it goes into lighting, where the lighters use virtual lights to make everything look great. They then prepare all the render passes so that the compositors can polish it further and take it to the next level, adding effects, atmosphere and matching the colours between shots.
MUSIC​​​​​​​
Our client mentioned Joe Hisaichi as a reference for the music of Pip, so with that in mind, our composer Aurélien Vieira Lino wrote a beautiful soundtrack consisting of piano and a string quartet. Once the music was finished and approved, and even though it was sounding great already using virtual instruments, Aurélien decided we needed the real thing, so he gathered a proper string quartet and re-recorded the entire soundtrack using real instruments.
CLIENT
Southeastern Guide Dogs
DIRECTOR
Bruno Simões
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER
Stacy Howe
PRODUCER
Laia Alomar
STORY
Titus Herman
SCREENPLAY
David Kilgo
Richard Mather
Leslie Rowe
ANIMATION SUPERVISOR
Ferran Casas
CG SUPERVISOR
Dani Buhigas
CHARACTER DESIGN
Estrela Lourenço 
MATTE PAINTING & ILLUSTRATION
Silvia Brujas
STORYBOARDS & ANIMATIC
Laura Portolés
LAYOUT
Bruno Simões
CHARACTER MODELING
Andrea Giordano
SETS & PROPS MODELING
Juan Carlos Nava Contreras
TEXTURES
Ignazio Acerenza
Iaina Estrela
Andrea Giordano
Eva Prado
CHARACTER RIGGING
Jorge Bellot
ANIMATION
Toni Buenavida 
Matthieu Poirey
David Rubio
TITLE ANIMATION
Jorge Ribeiro
GROOMING & LIGHTING
Dani Buhigas 
COMPOSITING
Lionel Estivill
Cristian Martín
Carlos Navarro
RENDER SUPPORT
Daniel Carregado Fernández
Javies Fernández Carbal
Sergio González Sainz
Juan Ruiz Esteban
MUSIC
Aurélien Vieira Lino
SOUND DESIGN & FINAL MIX
Bruno Oliveira
PIANO
Aurélien Vieira Lino
STRING QUARTET
Daniel Bolito
Rui Mendes Cristão
Raquel Merrelho
Cátia Alexandre Santos
MUSIC RECORDED AND MIXED AT
Estúdio Timbuktu
ANIMATION STUDIO
Studio Kimchi
SPECIAL THANKS
Tongal
Colin Doncaster
Sofia Herman
Roger Torras
Fernando Viñuales Allué
Lulu Yang
TECHNICAL PARTNERS
Peregrine Labs
Summus Render


© 2018 SOUTHEASTERN GUIDE DOGS / STUDIO KIMCHI
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