NEMO is a collectible mascot from Rama Works in collaboration with Kimparks Lab. The name NEMO means square (or cube) in Korean, which is where Kimparks Lab is located. The design of NEMO is based on Kimparks' Cubing character. We were careful in considering the Cubing character's backstory and lore when making decisions for the trailer.
Since NEMO is a physical product, we decided to build the spot around the idea that everything could have been created in stop motion. Our hope is that when people receive their NEMO figure, they might make some animations of their own and share them. In order to achieve this, we went used a couple alternative techniques in the production of the teaser.
Bringing a cube to life with personality and character an be difficult. Luckily, we had Dan Stack on our side to hand-draw plates that set the tone for NEMO’s movement and facial expressions. This went a long way into helping us bring NEMO’s character to life in all the little vignettes. It also allowed us to play around with drop frames and more aggressive cuts like you would find in stop-motion animation.
While it was just one scene, the claw design ended being a little bit of a challenge to design. Being one of the few pieces of hardware not given to us by RAMA WORKS, we got to think up what a RW Industrial Claw might look like in this world. Not only that, but how would it behave believable and functionally with our scene. I took on the challenge and dove into many iterations of the arm, joints, and claw bits that would appear on camera. I’m pretty happy with the results and would definitely like to come back and continue this type of exploration.
By far, the biggest challenge was smoke in the surprise ending. Todd Hersey took up the R&D to solve for a smoke that could be achieved in a real life stop-motion set. After many iterations, it was a clever combination of Turbulence FD, Volume Mixers, and millions of Hairs that got the smoke looking just right! The result is a realistic cotton fluff feel that fit in perfectly with the stop-motion direction we were going for.
Creative Director: Todd Hersey
Animation: Eddy Nieto, Dan Stack, Todd Hersey
Audio Post Production: Another Country Detroit
Composer: Joe Philips
Sound Design: Joe Philips, Jeremy Schemm
Mixing Engineer: Jeremy Schemm