Horizons Ventures approached us for an animation and puppet film to promote the incredible work they are doing in science and disruptive technologies.
Nice Monster’s concept was based around the Wizard of Oz. Using the characters personalities to symbolise the emotions human kind need to create a better future. The Bravery of the Lion, Heart of the Tin Man, mind of the Scarecrow and Leadership of Dorothy. Our puppets also defied the gender roles of the original story and took on their own beautiful form.
These designs were then turned into rod puppets and produced using digital sculpting 3d printing and traditional craft work.
We shot most of the film inside sets where we could hide the rods – this would eliminate the need for green screen removal later on. But for the larger sets we had little choice but to use this approach.
During post production we added subtle motion to the characters faces like blinks, eyebrow motion and frowns to make the puppets more emotive and alive. Achieving this requires us to track the film footage then animate on top using warp techniques and hand drawn animation. We also needed to rotoscope the rods so the puppets feel more like a stop motion puppet when we watch the final film.