You're blocking ads, which pay for BlenderNation. Read about other ways to support us.

ChouChou "Macarons" - 3D character animation in Blender


Kyle Balda writes:

My wife Janet and I started combining our skills of animation filmmaking and French cooking to make little how-to videos in our kitchen that featured a 3D animated character named ChouChou. Originally it was just to pass the time during lockdown, but we ended up really enjoying it and just finished our third installment.

We started about a year ago, neither of us ever having used Blender before. I had many years of experience in several 3D animation softwares, but Janet had never opened a 3D program before--she got the hang of Blender very quickly. In order to make these episodes, I modeled, rigged, surfaced, and animated the characters all in Blender. After we shot the live action plates, Janet tracked the 3D camera, surfaced the characters and lit/composited all the shots, as well in Blender.

Blender has been such an incredibly powerful tool, not least for the supportive community around it, without which we would not be able to make these. For the first episode we had help from Jacob at InLightVFX for lighting and compositing, and David at Level Pixel Level has been tremendously helpful throughout in the character rigging process.

Each of our episodes features a different French patisserie recipe, this latest one is on macarons--here it is for your enjoyment!

About the Author

Kyle Balda

Kyle Balda is a Bafta nominated feature animation director working in the animation industry for 30 years, most notably with Illumination Entertainment and Pixar Animation Studios. He began his career in early 90’s after studying at Calarts to join the crew of Industrial Light and Magic where he animated on such films as The Mask, Mars Attacks! and as supervising animator on Jumanji. After animating the Grim Reaper for Peter Jackson's The Frightners at Weta Digital in New Zealand, Kyle returned to California to work at Pixar on A Bug's Life, Monsters Inc and as directing animator of Toy Story 2. Following a number of years conducting Masterclasses at renowned film schools worldwide and directing short form animation projects, Balda returned to feature production in Paris as the head of layout for Illumination’s Despicable Me followed by a co-directing position on The Lorax and directing roles (with directing partner Pierre Coffin) on Minions and Despicable Me 3. Kyle’s latest film is Minions: The Rise of Gru set to release in the Summer of 2022. Kyle is an avid Blender user.


Leave A Reply

To add a profile picture to your message, register your email address with To protect your email address, create an account on BlenderNation and log in when posting a message.