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George Fairbairn
Photography and Stop Motion Animation

Commissions

More detail about some of the work I have been commissioned for.

Rice Dream | Stop Motion Animation

Stop Motion Animation for Rice Dream

This commission was actually over a year ago now. But, if you are a regular visitor to www.gfphoto.co.uk you might notice that this is a completely new website. As a result, I have changed how I am showcasing work and writing blogs and re-introducing previous commissions is one of those changes. Anyways, onto the details…

I was approached by Dream to create a 30 second stop motion using one of their plant based milks.

The Brief

Dream had a few requirements for their animation

  • 30 second animation

  • Show a smoothie being made

    • Start with a blank scene

    • Finish with a smoothie in a glass and all the ingredients that went into the smoothie

  • Clean and bright background with colours that compliment the product

It was a fairly simple brief with a lot of freedom on my part. Dream allowed me to choose any recipe from their recipes page to use in the animation. Not only that, but they also wanted me to purposefully use a different plant based milk than the recipe called for. This actually made a lot of sense to me as a consumer of plant based milks. Whilst I drink and use Oat milk, my preference is Rice milk. I find that rice milk is very neutral in taste and lends itself to smoothie making perfectly.

With that in mind, I chose the Morning Dream recipe and substituted the Oat milk with Rice milk.

The Planning

This was a fun and challenging stop motion animation to plan. I had 30 seconds of animation space to use. 30 seconds seems like a lot, but when you get into the details of what happens in the animation you quickly realise that it isn’t, but also that it IS a long time. I will explain… :D

One of the challenges with this animation was giving every aspect the time that it needed, but not too much time. This was interesting. As I mentioned previously, 30 seconds isn’t a long time for an animation. But, when you are planning your timeline you realise that you can’t devote 5 seconds to a banana coming into frame! It took quick a bit of tweaking and editing to arrive at a timeline that worked. I wanted a timeline that gave every ingredient and process the attention it deserved, but not too much as it would lead to the viewer losing interest.

Once the timeline was established and agreed upon, there were two parts that took a little extra planning for the animation.

  • The orange

  • Blending

Those two parts of the animation were the two that took the most time to plan. Peeling an orange isn’t easy at the best of time. Trying to peel an orange for an animation makes it 100x harder. A few YouTube videos later, and I felt that I was an orange peeling expert and found a nice little hack that I used for this animation. This hack made peeling the orange SO much easier for this. The second part was the actual blending of the smoothie. We didn’t want the blending to “just happen”. We wanted to see it get blended in the animation. In the end, this wasn’t hard at all, but it took me some time to come to the solution… a stick blender.

The Shooting

Shooting this stop motion was actually pretty straight forward. The key to this was the planning. I had everything timed out to the half second, so I knew exactly what was happening and when it was happening. I had prepped the orange ahead of time, and knew where and how I was going to do the blending. With everything prepped and ready to go, shooting this stop motion was really easy. It was simply a process of moving objects and keeping to my timeline. You may notice in the animation that when the glass enters the scene, it takes a little detour. This was because I had allowed too much time for the glass to enter the scene and had to fill a few extra frames. Little details like this are most likely not noticeable to the viewers, and to be honest that extra movement gave the glass a little more life.

Finished

All in all this was a great stop motion to shoot. It challenged me in the planning aspect and also made me an expert orange peeler. The resulting stop motion is at the top of the page and Dream used this animation extensively in their social campaigns.

One of the benefits of stop motion animation is that it is a series of still photographs. After all, stop motion animation for products like this is really just product photography…. just a LOT of it. This particular animation didn’t have a lot of stills that worked in print advertising. But, the final scene definitely did and was used extensively in Dream advertising.

Stop_Motion_Animation_Product_Photographer_George_Fairbairn_Rice_Dream.jpg

Conclusion

This stop motion animation was one of the most delicious animations that I have created. After all, I couldn’t let that delicious smoothie go to waste! I also had the added benefit of becoming an expert orange peeler… definitely a valuable life skill!

If you have any questions about any aspect of this animation, please feel free to leave comments and questions below.