Completed May 23, 2001

These two digital tests were created for Coca-Cola in order to demonstrate how we could grab one of their original Sundbloom Santa Claus paintings and bring it to life through animation.

In the first test, this was achieved by first using Elastic Reality to alter Santa’s face to create a winking movement, along with other subtleties such as cheeks bulging, mouth widening, etc. This animated sequence was then mapped onto a model created directly from a trace of the painting, which was actually split into three models, the face, the left arm, and the right arm. The models provided specific elevations in appropriate areas such as the cheeks, eyes, mouth, hands, and bottle, in order to create a slight illusion of volume. Once mapped, the model could then be rotated to a maximum of about 30 degrees in any direction and still retain it’s perceived volume. A simple skeletal system was then set up for the model and a short 1 second animation was created in about a week. The final sequence was then rendered out of MAX with no lights and self illumination in order to retain the original lighting portrayed in the painting.

The second test employed the same technique but went a step further with a CG environment, and a slightly longer animation sequence. A slight camera move works to pull in towards Santa, making the room appear increasingly 3D as a result of changing perspective.

These tests were modeled, animated and rendered with 3dsmax 4 and composited with After Effects 5. Elastic Reality 3 was used for 2D warping.


Directed by Richard Rosenman.
Animated by Richard Rosenman, modeled by Chris Crozier and Ben Pilgrim.
Composited by Richard Rosenman.

Produced at Redrover Studios Ltd.