May 24th, 2018

Things take a turn for the fruity in Snapple’s taste testing lab in the brand’s humorous spot, ‘Phil in a Bottle’, wherein four fully CG mangoes sip some samples to their heart’s content—even after learning just how authentic the taste really is.

The Mill Los Angeles had the pleasure of collaborating with Deutsch and Director Dave Laden of Hungry Man to bring the hilarious narrative to life, along with famed special effects studio, Legacy Effects, who was a collaborative partner on the project.  

We sat down with some of our artists to learn more about the creative process behind the spot, and to hear some highlights of their work. Scroll to read! 

Snapple 03[1]Concept Art by Ed Laag

What was the best/favorite part of the job for you?

Dag Ivarsoy (2D Artist): 

I loved the idea of doing that type of cartoon, as it was extremely unique! Additionally, the CG team was great and did a phenomenal job with such a challenging brief. They got it exactly right.

Victor Duncan (3D Lead): 

Watching it all come together was great; the entire team put in a lot of work and I was proud to be a part of that. 

Ed Boldero (3D Lead):

I liked the challenge of figuring out how the piece could be set up and shot, in order to get the most seamless result when we added the mangoes in post. I also enjoyed how collaborative a process it was with our methodology test and concepts, Legacy's prosthetics and then our post-work again to bring it all together. 

 Ed Laag (Concept Artist):

It was fun to create so many options and to see what would actually work in a physical space. Having the opportunity to work with Legacy was great as well!  

Snapple 04[1]Concept Art by Ed Laag

What were some key challenges, and how did you overcome them?

Ed Boldero (3D Lead):  

We had the expected challenges of tracking the faces and then, using a combination of 2D and 3D, we would augment the movement in animation to help keep the weight in the characters’ movements, as well as repositioning the arms in 2D to match our final mango shapes. We then rotomated them in 3D to add back the shadow and lighting interactions with their bodies.

Victor Duncan (3D Lead):

We wanted to make sure that the characters really felt like mangoes with faces; not a practical costume but instead, some scientific lab that went a bit Frankenstein on some mangoes. Through careful planning and some major tracking, we actually made it work!

Dag Ivarsoy (2D Artist):

Integrating the faces onto the CG mangoes was challenging; it was important that we really got the expression and textures right for each character.

Ed Laag (Concept Artist):  

Figuring out where the faces would be placed was a difficult task as we had to take into consideration where the hands and face would be in relation to each other because it would affect the shoot. So, there was a lot of back and forth to see which concept would work.

The communication was great between our studio and Legacy. We would send them a concept and they would give us feedback right away.

Snapple 01[1]Concept Art by Ed Laag

What software was used?

To create the piece, the teams used Maya and Arnold as their primary 3D/rendering software, Substance Painter, Mari, Nuke, Flame, Agisoft Photoscan, Pftrack, ZBrush and Photoshop.

For more of this campaign, be sure to check out ‘Tastes Just Like Us’!