With this spot we want to explore the world of ballpoint ink. We really want to let the ink become dimensional and move in space, away from camera and even behind camera so that we feel immersed in this beautiful world. All the objects and environments in that world will be shaded in a photorealistic way, so that the ink defines the outlines, but we can introduce light and shadows as well. The environment will feel very lively and lush and will be very easy to read. The combination of those two visual elements will feel very organic.
This spot is all about the connectedness of events and how somewhat unrelated objects are connected by a visual thread. We are in a world made of line drawings by an ink pen. The medium is predominately the ball point blue pen. The lines drawn by this pen will be the “thread” in this spot.
Our landscape is broadened using layers of inky texture that wash in a mixture of photography to ground the scenarios subtly in reality and brings us a sense of depth of field that you may find in the deep ocean that the squid is found. We’d see slight details, underwater life in the background while the foreground ink line is telling the story. The color palette is reduced to subtle and restrained hues of ink, deep aqua blues, violets, ultramarines, and cobalts.
We open on a beautiful landscape, it is the surface of the ocean. A blue pen line begins to draw and creates an oil rig. The oil rig is shaded in a photo-real way, but the outlines are drawn by the ballpoint pen. The lines that draw the ocean foreground are connected to the oil rig, perhaps they are supporting poles to the rig. The lines are waves, rippling and splashing on the camera lens and these lines change into something more organic, moving with the waters current. Other lines split from this line as we are pushing into a stunning swirl of line work that entwine. As the camera follows the line, other lines are seen in the distance and we suddenly realize that in the depth of the ocean blue the abstracted lines are not seaweed, or water lines but now have formed a squid.
This squid is in a lush underwater world, with swarms of fish swimming through frame and light shining down through the surface of the ocean. We see the light play on the squid, coloring it in all shades blue, green and turquoise. With a strong push the squid pushes away from us and squirts an unfolding dark blue mass of ink, the lines of ink roll out from underneath one another and float through the water.
We push into the lines of ink so that they bulge behind camera and we are now inside the cloud of ink, inside a beautiful shape of lines. Those lines keep drawing on and transition into a Pen, which moves across the screen and pulls a line out of the cloud of ink. As we pull out and follow the lines we are lifted out and we see that a fountain pen is drawing some of the line works. The nib of the fountain pen has intricate etchings in the metal that form a bowl of pasta, in which a fork
lifts up a portion of pasta.
The camera booms up so that we only see the last strand of pasta. We keep booming up and see how the line of pasta draws on upwards and we see it transform into a young sapling which grows and becomes a beautiful tree.
We will build all the objects in 3D space and animate them, using live action footage as reference. This gives us the flexibility to transition smoothly from scene to scene. The movement will feel completely real. The shading of the objects will be essentially photoreal as well. Having everything in a unified 3D environment gives us the option of animating the ballpoint ink along the edges of the objects.
We will then take those elements and combine them with live action elements for the backgrounds. The fish swarm under water, the clouds in the sky, all those thing will further enrich the scenes.”
Name: T. Rowe Price
Creative Fields: Animation
Artist: Jason Conradt
Directed: Mate Steinforth
3D: Jacob Slutsky (Lead), David Barosin (Lead), Jae Ham, Jimmy Gass, Jonah Friedman, Andy Hara, Boris Ustaev, Xuan Seifert,Lee Wolland
Compositing: Jason Conradt (Lead), Manu Gaulot, Colin Hess
Additional Compositing: Matt Hanson, Yussef Cole, Christopher Gereg
Producer: Eve Strickman, Tarun Cahraipotra, Lucia Grillo (EP)
Design: Mate Steinforth
Creative Direction: Marie Hyon
Text Description: © Courtesy of Jason Conradt
Images: © Jason Conradt