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Gecko Animation - Professional Commercials Using Blender

22

renewex.jpgWe recently spotted a commercial on YouTube for ROC, an international producer of skin-care products. The commercial was created in Blender by Gecko Animation Limited and was aired on UK television. We contacted Jonathan Lax to learn about his studio and about how Blender fits into his workflow.

Jonathan writes:

My name is Jonathan Lax, I'm 24, from England and I formed my company Gecko Animation Limited after recently graduating from Sheffield Hallam University. I was originally introduced to Blender at around the version 2.23 and enjoyed using it as a hobby while at school. During my time at Sheffield Hallam University I helped organise a Blender learning workshop to get 15-16 year olds interested in higher education and gave a talk about Blender at the Sheffield 'Lovebytes' Digital Arts Festival in 2005. That workshop has continued to run every year since, with Blender now permanently installed at Sheffield Hallam University.

Before forming Gecko Animation Limited, I worked freelance as a CGI Artist and worked on several productions using Blender in collaboration with Two Rivers Animation Partnership. This included a very successful production of a commercial for ROC that was done almost entirely in Blender. I modelled the product in Blender using the brilliant Subsurface tools and rendered it using Yafray. The cream, however, was not done in Blender along with the post-process effects. Since then at Gecko Animation Ltd I have worked on several other productions that can be seen at www.geckoanimation.com, all using Blender at some point during production. I will add further detailed descriptions on the site describing how Blender was used in each.

I use Blender mainly due to the fantastic community surrounding it that has often helped me, especially the BlenderArtists Forums, BlenderUser.co.uk, and BlenderNation. The constant development and advancement of Blender is exciting to see and one day I hope to contribute. At the moment, here at Gecko Animation Ltd, I'm working on an animation short, using Blender as a base for my entire production pipeline.

Have a look at Gecko Animation's portfolio which includes samples from work for other clients such as Wella and Philips.

About Author

Bart Veldhuizen

I have a LONG history with Blender - I wrote some of the earliest Blender tutorials, worked for Not a Number and helped run the crowdfunding campaign that open sourced Blender (the first one on the internet!). I founded BlenderNation in 2006 and have been editing it every single day since then ;-) I also run the Blender Artists forum and I'm Head of Community at Sketchfab.

22 Comments

  1. wow, more and more "professional" seems to be synonyme for "boring".

    we have passed the point of blender being able to do "what ever we want" long time ago.

    .b

  2. Well done indeed, where would the commercial world be without CG-animation.

    Nice to read that people from Hallem are using Blender.

    Lived across there in 2000, great city.

  3. ccherrett: heh.. i guess because to me it doesn't seem like big news anymore that people are actually using blender for real work. also, the word "professional" always gives me the chills.

    .b

  4. I agree with basse, in that, this may not necessarily be BlenderNation-worthy, however, at the same time, I wouldn't have done the commercial any differently. Elaborate 3D scenes and flashy effects do not belong in all commercials. It has to be created with a style that appeals to the target audience, and with this particular target audience, you have to have calm, simplistic design elements. A little too trivial for this site, but I wouldn't attack the creator - he did a good job.

  5. @bart and toontje:
    did I say anything like "the philips animation >>made with blender<<"?
    I don't think so ;)
    And yes, I can read, Blender was used for preproduction only.

  6. Why Blender community should stop publishing "professional" works ? Even Autodesk still have still a comercial gallery, and we all know Maya and Max are "professional" since long time. I can't see the point in complaining about this kind of news.

    Sorry for wasting space, it should belong to compliments for the job done.

  7. BLENDER IS AT A STAND STILL ,BUT WHEN THE NEW RELEASE OF 2.50 AND UP VERSION COME OUT THAN WE WILL SEE MORE PROFESSIONAL USING BLENDER.THIS WORK FROM GECKO IS WELL DONE AND ENCOURAGE ME TO USE BLENDER MORE.I KNOW THERE IS A LOT OF LAME OR NOT SO INTEREST ANIMATION OF FLUID TEST AND OTHER STUFF ON BLENDER
    AT YOUTUBE.COM. MAYA AND OTHER COMMERCIAL 3D PROGRAMS NEED TO BE ALWAY ON THE SPOT LIGHT TO SELL ,SELL,SELL,BUT SINCE BLENDER IS FREE (YES!) BLENDER IS THE TURTLE IN THIS RACE!

  8. RNS, please refer to your computer's manual for instructions on disabling caps-lock.

    Splendid work! I was recently shown a video of nothing but what Max can do, and I thought, "That can be done in Blender." Now I have something to back that up with!

  9. nice. I too am making a TV commercial at the moment, which should be launched for Danish television in late December. A commercial for a phone company. I'm using Blender too for all the 3d, compositing and sequencing.

  10. Your gecko animation is excellent! I am working with a company that wants to use a gecko character on some of there products. What do you know about Geico and their copyright issues over their gecko. Is a dressed gecko still considered an infringement of their copyrights? I would appreciate what you know or where I can go to find out more.

    Thanks,
    Reagan

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