We haven’t featured much advertising lately on Cartoon Brew, but this spot by Ambassadors for ASN Bank reminded us of all the neat creative work that gets done in this field.

The concept is simple. A community of woodland insects is ruled with an iron fist by the Shadybug, a tyrannical ladybug, but when the dictator seeks finance from ASN Bank for his regime, he’s refused.

But it’s the medium, a slick hybrid of cg characters and real sets, that caught our eye. The commercial perfectly integrates the bugs’ soft fabric-like textures — complete with seams — into their naturalistic environments.

Ambassadors is a creative production studio based in Amsterdam and New York City. “The Shadybug” is the fourth animated commercial it has done for ASN, which is selling itself as an ethical bank. Vincent Lammers, creative director and partner at Ambassadors, comments on the idea behind the spot:

Revisiting the world we created for ASN Bank is always a pleasure, and … we wanted to show a different side to the fable forest. This time it’s about playing with scale to bring a totally different, macro perspective. The play on scale also helped us share this serious message with a bit of absurdity. From his tiny design compared to the bigger, slower bugs, his look development to performance, and even the sounds he makes, the Shadybug was an incredibly fun character to bring to life.

This making-of gives a brief overview of parts of the production process, from set building to character modeling:

Ambassadors’s previous work for ASN can be seen on its portfolio page, along with the rest of the company’s work.

Behind the scenes on the set of "The Shadybug."
Behind the scenes on the set of “The Shadybug.”
Behind the scenes on the set of "The Shadybug."
Behind the scenes on the set of “The Shadybug.”

“The Shadybug” Credits
Client: ASN Bank
Agency: Selmore
Agency producer: Jorieke de Jong
Creative director: Diederick Hillenius
Creatives: Sam de Greef, Hannah Mulder

Production studio: Ambassadors
Director: Ambassadors
Creative director: Vincent Lammers
Art director: Nick Groeneveld
Producer: Bo Kops
Artist manager: Marissa Zandvliet
DOP: Floris van der Lee
Production design: Gatze Zonneveld
Editor: Oscar Marmelstein
Colorist: Koert van der Ploeg
Vfx supervisor: Stephen Pepper
2d artists: Stephen Pepper, Melissa van het Spijker, Jeremy Verf, Peter van Rij
3d supervisor: Ivor Ribeiro da Silva
3d artists: Ivor Ribeiro da Silva, Alexander van Buggenum, Jeroen Hoolmans, Charlotte Vallet, Sjoerd de Greef, Robin van As, Jonathan Krijgsman, Jeroen Cloosterman, Ralph Meijer
3d animaton: Nick Groeneveld
Layout/storyboard: Rachelle Slingerland, Nick Groeneveld
Character design: Nick Groeneveld, Maureen van der Hout, Iris van den Akker, , Rachelle Slingerland
Sound producer: Zoë de Regt
Sound designer: Rens Pluijm
Composer: Sebastiaan Roestenburg

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Alex Dudok de Wit

Alex Dudok de Wit

Alex Dudok de Wit is Associate Editor of Cartoon Brew.

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