Grace & Wild Studios Creates nanoblock Character Videos for Team Detroit Pulse
October 31, 2011

Grace & Wild Studios Creates nanoblock Character Videos for Team Detroit Pulse

Farmington Hills, Mich. - Grace & Wild Studios was called upon by Team Detroit Pulse to shoot a series of CGI and stop-motion promotional videos on behalf of The Ohio Art Company, maker of Etch A Sketch and exclusive US distributor of nanoblock. Grace & Wild Studios provided CGI and stop motion animation, post production, and audio post services.

Grace & Wild's team worked in collaboration with Team Detroit Pulse to create a series of five stop motion character monologues titled "Small Spiels" and a full CGI spot.  The Small Spiels were shot as "audition reels" to show each product's unique personality and answer the question, "why should you put me on your desk?"   Each "spiel" included a CGI product build, an artful cascade of hundreds of colorful micro-sized blocks raining down to form the completed nanoblock character.  In the full CGI spot, titled "How big are you?," the magnitude of moving nanoblocks was over 100,000.

In making the decision to bring the videos to Grace & Wild, Team Detroit Pulse's Art Director Mark Finazzo explained, "It was all about the talent. We shopped it around and Grace & Wild's team had already done something similar.  They left everyone else in the dust."  The videos have been presented to several retailers and have elicited very positive responses.  Finazzo largely attributes the videos' success to the talent of the Grace & Wild team.  In his words, "everybody went above and beyond what was asked in every aspect."

All stop motion animation footage was shot using a Canon 5D camera, with each spot composed of more than 1,000 frames.  Unlike claymation, where everything is posable, one of the biggest challenges of the shoot was creating unique and different ways for each character to move with limited movable variables.  "Because of this," Grace & Wild Studios creative director Brent Feeman explained, "sound design was a big part of the project and the many different sound effects and the audio mix came together to bring the extra kick needed."  The team also designed the sets in collaboration with Team Detroit Pulse to create a look and feel unique to each nanoblock personality.

Contributing Staff from Grace & Wild, Inc.:
Grace & Wild Studios CGI/VFX team:

  • Creative Director/CGI Artist Brent Feeman
  • Senior Animator/Technical Director Troy Wehner
  • CGI Artists Dan Olson, Max Lazzarin, and Frank DeMarco

Grace & Wild Studios Stop Motion Animators:

  • Creative Director/CGI Artist Brent Feeman
  • Senior Animator/Designer Matt Campbell
  • Manager of Production Services CJ Johnston

Contributing Staff from pulse at team detroit:

  • Executive Creative Director Greg Braun
  • Senior Art Director Mark Finazzo
  • Senior Copywriter Dan Marvin
  • Executive Producer Carole Gall
  • Account Director David Maas
  • Account Executive Nicole Richards

Grace & Wild Studios Audio Post:

  • Audio Engineer Spencer Hall
  • Music Director Evan Geller

Production Support:

  • Post Production Manager Mike Mayne
  • Producer TJ Harlton