Ntropic Creates Animated Spokes-Squirrel

Ntropic Creates Animated Spokes-Squirrel

LOS ANGELES — Ntropic recently provided a range of services, including visual effects, for a new campaign from Southern California Edison that reminds customers to stay safe around power lines. Conceived by IW Alliance, the  Tree Trimming  and  Metallic Balloon  spots feature photoreal CG-animated squirrels that point to the dangers of working too close to powerlines when trimming trees, and to the threats that metallic balloons can present if released near overhead wires.

The spots appear in English, Spanish, Vietnamese, Korean and Mandarin versions to best cover the power supplier’s customer base and rolled out in early spring.

“We really wanted something that would break through the clutter in five languages and appeal to all age groups, because in the end, it’s about keeping people safe,” explains Diane Tasaka, principal manager, brand and creative at Southern California Edison. 

Ntropic’s talking squirrel mascot is being used across the spots, billboards, social media animations and other materials. The studio’s team worked tirelessly toward a design that was authentic but also imbued with the right charm and humor. Ntropic was involved in all aspects of production and post, handling live action production, offline editorial, color grading, CG and final delivery. The spots were directed by Ntropic CCO/founder Nate Robinson.

The Ntropic team used a combination of Autodesk Maya, Side FX Houdini, Foundry Nuke and Autodesk Flame to pull off the spots.

“This type of 360 work is the most satisfying for us here at Ntropic,” explains Ntropic LA EP Juliet Tierney. “When we get the chance to craft the work from beginning to end and establish the most effective workflow, it streamlines the process and allows us the flexibility to be more creative. And, of course, having Nate on board as the director and our talented CG and compositing team always puts us in a strong position.

Aaron Robinson at Emoi Music composed the original soundtrack. Eric Garcia at 48 Windows provided audio post services.