In the 60′ TV spot, we follow the Smithwick’s squirrel at the brewery, after the Master Brewers have left, as he is seen toiling with craft and precision, firing up boilers, sniffing hops and tunring valves to brew a thimbleful of ale before they return. Set to the Kaiser Chiefs track ‘Learnt My Lesson Well’, the end of the spot reveals that, just like the Smithwick’s brewing family, the squirrel and his forefathers have been instrumental in crafting and perfecting the quality of the ale.
Taking 5 months of production, the spot cleverly uses a combination of live action and bespoke CGI animation to bring to life the cinematic world of the brewery in which our CG animated hero character is seen crafting the perfect pint.
Smithwick’s was a very creative and technical project to be involved in. We comped numerous assets including the CG squirrel itself, fire (matches), dust, flares, light rays and so on. The close up of the squirrel’s eye took more than 2 months to get right. We added every single layer possible to make the eye as photo real as possible.
It takes a leap of faith for creatives and directors to take on a project like this, as for a long time they don’t get to see anything close to finished results with it really all coming down to the final weeks when everything starts coming together.
We used Houdini to generate the fur and developed a whole new workflow within the software to enable us to update animation and simulation painlessly. We are all really happy with the end film and looking forward to using the developments we made again soon.