Travelers Insurance Dog Finds Peace of Mind with CG Help from Motion504
September 8, 2011

Travelers Insurance Dog Finds Peace of Mind with CG Help from Motion504

Minneapolis, Minn. - Chopper, the dog who goes to great lengths to protect his prized bone, makes a comeback in a new campaign for Travelers Insurance with CG help from broadcast design and animation company motion504.

Created by ad agency Fallon, the four spots--"Cat Burglar," "Stolen Bone," "Puppy Love," and "Soapbox Car"--follow a similar theme as Chopper frets about guarding his bone until peace-of-mind comes in the form of the Travelers red umbrella.

To view "Cat Burglar" and "Stolen Bone," visit:

"After shooting four commercials for Travelers, and with little time to finish, I looked to motion504 to help with graphic solutions to my end frames; they were both creative and fast, which is what I needed," says Myles Allpress, Fallon art director. "With very little briefing, the motion504 guys modeled 3D umbrellas from real-world pictures to create a natural, and very real, picture-to-graphic transition. It emulated a breeze, and it looked perfect every time. It's also great to have a shop that good in our own backyard."

Motion504 was responsible for creating the seamless transition from the live-action umbrella to the 3D umbrella, which segues into the end tag. This involved transforming from the 3D umbrella to a model that matched the stylized, graphic Travelers logo, achieved with subtle geometry morphing. The difference between detailed model and graphic logo was a subtle item, but important to the client to keep the imagery on point with branding. 

"The client was open to letting us determine what the transition would look like," explains Amy Schmitt, motion504 Creative Director. "The biggest challenge was trying to match the realism of the live-action umbrella with our CG umbrella. There was extensive paintwork behind the umbrella, so we needed to coordinate closely with Mass Market, who handled the finishing work on the spots. They provided us with the background plates, and were such a pleasure to work with."

"Once the umbrella was made, we positioned it and the camera to match the footage," concludes Adam Tow, motion504 3D artist. "After final tweaks to make the viewing angle work, the original shoot footage was projected into the model so that materials and colors matched between the two sources. Additional rotoscoping and matte painting smoothed the handoff from real to 3D. The motion and sway of the umbrella came out feeling very natural. Everyone loves this campaign, and we're happy to be a part of it."

Client: Travelers Insurance
Spot Titles: Cat Burglar, Stolen Bone, Puppy Love, Soapbox Car
Airdates: July 2011 (Cat Burglar), August 2011 (Stolen Bone), September 2011 (Puppy Love, Soapbox Car)

Ad Agency: Fallon/Minneapolis
Chief Creative Officer: Darren Spiller
Art Director: Myles Allpress
Copywriter: Simon Roseblade
Producer: Kate Talbott

Production Company: Rattling Stick/London & Epoch Films/LA
Director: Daniel Kleinman
Executive Producers: Johnnie Frankel & John Duffin

Editorial Company: Cut + Run/London
Editor: Eve Ashwell
Assistant Editor: Sean Stender
Senior Producer: Christie Price
Managing Director: Michelle Burke

VFX Company: Mass Market/LA
Senior Flame Artist: Miles Essmiller
VFX shoot supervisor Adrian Hurley
Senior VFX Producer: Jenn Dewey
Associate VFX Producer: Minh Ly

Design Company: motion504/Minneapolis
Creative Director: Amy Schmitt
3D Artist: Adam Tow
Executive Producer: Eric Mueller

Toolset: Cinema 4D (3D umbrella), and After Effects (compositing and graphics)

Postproduction Company: The Moving Picture Company/London
Colorist: Mark Gethin

Music: "Be OK" by Ingrid Michaelson (Cat Burglar), "Trouble" by Ray LaMontagne (Prized Possession) and "Gone" by John Hiatt (Stolen Bone)

Audio Post Company: Lime Studios
Mixer: Rohan Young