Watermark was approached by Silk Productions to work with them in creating a series of animations that would teach viewers how to play Keno and the different ways people can play the odds. Inspired by Cassius Coolidge’s “Dogs Playing Poker”, the idea was that the animations would be a parody and illustration of teaching old dogs new tricks by teaching them a new game that they can play.
Meet the cast below (starting from the top left to the bottom right):
~ Big Al, Bess, Frankie, Tammy, Louie and Bones ~
Learning the Ropes:
Different Ways to Play:
The Short Shooter:
A clear challenge in the project was not only painting up some beautifully rendered dogs, but also finding a flexible way of manipulating the artwork to give the impression of them talking.
All of the characters were flat 2D paintings created as layered Photoshop files where we proceeded with animating them in After Effects. To build our own custom rigs, we used the Puppet Tools script to great effect, which allowed us to setup custom rigs for each character with full IK controllers as well.
With really complex compositions, managing layers and screen real estate becomes almost as time consuming as the actual animation. Since Puppet Tools generates a stack of additional nulls on top of the already heavily layered artwork, we found that the Zorro - The Layer Tagger script was just as helpful. Using the plugin to tag layers into groups, it becomes very easy to only reveal the ones you're working with.
Below are a few of our favourite moments from the animations...
Client - NZ Lotteries
Agency - Silk Productions (DDB Auckland)
Artwork - Anton Petrov
Animation - Mat Brady, Tess Monash, David Way