Culver City/Vancouver-based visual effects house Zoic Studios delivered an all-too-friendly dolphin in the comical new :60/:30 “Aquarium” for Dynamics ePlate out of Grey, NY. Zoic crafted a photo-real talking dolphin that turns from a friendly, silent creature into a creepy — and hilarious — aquatic buddy.
Zoic’s team, led by VFX supervisor Ryan McDougal, struck a delicate balance between a realistic-looking dolphin and something a little off. “The agency and directors Will Speck and Josh Gordon had a very clear vision from the start; very hands on,” McDougal said. “Our mantra throughout was, ‘It’s not a puppy. It’s a stalker.’ Real dolphins are like lovable puppies moving in a fluid, playful fashion. We made this dolphin close to the real thing, but off just enough that it’s unsettling. It adds to the humor.”
Zoic used Maya, ZBrush and RealFlow to create the dolphin. “We paid close attention to how light penetrated the dolphin’s skin, wanting to give it an iridescent quality with just enough shine,” McDougal continued. “Then we made the empty space the dolphin occupies look like actual water, which was also a fun creative challenge.”
“Aquarium” is the first of two projects Zoic has lined up with Furlined’s comedy experts Speck and Gordon. “It’s always fun to work with funny people, but it’s even better to work with funny people who are exceptional at what they do,” Zoic executive creative director Chris Jones said. “Josh and Will are exactly that. Dynamics ePlate is the start of a great relationship and our team is excited to be working with them through the summer.”
This spot is the most recent output from Zoic’s new commercial division with upcoming work from agencies and brands like AT&T and Toshiba. The Dynamics ePlate campaign also includes the :60/:30, “Family Time.”