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Aardman Nathan Love Made 20 Stylized CG Nick Bumpers

Aardman Animation’s stop motion influence has rubbed off on Nathan Love, the boutique New York City cg studio that was acquired by Aardman a couple years back.

Aardman Nathan Love (ANL) delivered a fun, fast-packaged package of 20 stop-motion influenced holiday promos and bumpers for Nickelodeon. The computer-animated spots, which started airing last Friday, can all be seen below in a super-cut:

ANL founder Joe Burrascano directed the “Winter Refresh” campaign, which includes cg versions of popular Nick characters like Spongebob, Lincoln Loud, and Henry Danger, as well as a quartet of snowball characters created specifically for the ID campaign.

The stop-motion aesthetic used by ANL stemmed from Nick’s creative brief, which asked for a style that recalled Rankin/Bass’s holiday specials, like the stop motion Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer and the hand-drawn Frosty the Snowman. Nick’s creative team referenced a variety of cg projects in their brief, said Jon O’Hara, ANL’s executive producer, “including our own work, and that’s what inspired us to build a world rooted in tactile materials, but with the freedom to create some wilder narratives.”

Stay tuned: Cartoon Brew has an upcoming piece that takes an in-depth look at another stop-motion influenced piece that ANL recently created for Sprite.

Creative Credits
For Nickelodeon:
SVP Art + Design: Michael Waldron
SVP Creative Promotions: Tony Maxwell
VP Animation + Motion Graphics: Kurt Hartman
VP Creative Director: Erica Ottenberg
Sr. Art Director: Giancarlo Barrera

For Aardman Nathan Love:
Director: Joe Burrascano
Art Director, Design & Storyboards: Tim Probert
Additional Design: Joe Bluhm, Jesse Aclin, Cassey Kuo
CG Supervisor, Character TD: Steve Mann
CG Lead: Elizabeth Ku-Herrero
Look Development & Lighting TD: Eric Cunha
Character, Asset & Environment Artists: Elizabeth Ku-Herrero, Eric Cunha, Jin Fang Jiang, Pedro Conti, Paul Kim, Andy Tai
Animation Lead: Tom Shek
Animation: Doug Litos, Henning Koczy, Nicole Morciniec, Jordan Blit
Additional Rigging: Brett Taggart
Lighting: Christine Kim, Jin Fang Jiang, Luke Pikora
Shading: Jin Fang Jiang, Christine Kim, Paul Kim, Andy Tai, Ylli Orana
Compositing Lead: Eric Concepcion
Compositor: Matt DeFranco
Matte Painting: Christine Kim
Editing: Yi Ju Tsai
Original Music, Music Supervision and Sound Design: Explosion Robinson

  • Marc Hendry

    These are actually super nice! Most of the time, fake stop-motion looks dodgy and doesn’t age well, but I don’t think there’s anything bad about these

  • Pedro Nakama

    I think a lot of the Nick bumpers are more interesting than the shows on Nick.

  • Rob

    I worked at ANL on their Sprite ad and saw some of these Nick bumpers in development. Really fun and inspired work! The team there is just top notch all around.

    • @SpitAndSpite

      Nice! Any insight on the anim process? Stepped w/ linear drift? Did they animate the textures properties to make them feel touched? Love to hear any tech tidbits if u can

  • @SpitAndSpite

    These look so beautiful! The Rock and roll one CGs the cam too much- like adding to much drift and swimmy-ness . I guess it was supposed to be to add some more energy but I think a poppy or locked cam would’ve been more frenetic. But for the most part these are damn near flawless. Really inspiring.

  • Trent

    The yellow snow one! That’s the essence of old school Nick right there

  • K W

    why did they change from using spongebob and loudhouse characters to the generic snowball guys? I think id like to see chipmunks and others in this style.