Founded in 2007 in Buenos Aires by Fernando Sarmiento and Toms Garca, PepperMelon has since expanded into a thriving CG animation and character design studio with global clients including MTV, Nickelodeon, Nike and Cartoon Network.
A recent film for MTV Stockholm is the studio's first venture into shooting live action footage to blend with its own stunning CG stylings, and we think it's pretty cool, so we invited Fernando and Toms to tell us a bit more about it.
How did the project come about, what was the brief, and who was involved?
Johan Nordin from MTV Stockholm contact us. MTV's brief was really open: they needed five bumpers for a new show called 'Top 10 at 10'. They asked one thing: something with PepperMelon's DNA.
Please briefly walk through your creative process...
Our approach was to incorporate some live action shooting for the first time, and to do what we do best at PepperMelon: tell a nice story with nice characters. The main challenge in this piece was to show this relationship between two odd characters: create that connection through the different bumpers, and get the audience to feel that connection.
Our director Toms Garca was in charge of the characters' design, and although we didn't have too much time, the design was fluid thanks to the freedom MTV gave us.
While we were designing the characters, we worked on the storyboard and the location scouting. We needed a place that had plenty of trees, and where people could ride their bikes. We got all the footage needed for all the bumpers in one afternoon, with just a longboard and a glidecam. After that, we tracked the footage and the characters became alive. It was only a month of hard work.
Were there any significant hurdles that you had to overcome?
Once the characters were designed, we had to make some modifications on their eyes so they could be more expressive. As we had little time to produce and compose, we chose some elements for the environment that wouldn't show we used a standard render on them.
What do you love most about the final film?
It reflects a familiar sensation, beside the strangeness of the characters. It shows what anyone would feel when riding with someone you care.
Is there anything you'd change in retrospect?
I think we could have done a better job integrating and rendering the characters if we had had more time. We would also like to had more time to work a bit more on the animation. Despite all these things, we're very happy with the final result.
Here's the film. Enjoy!