Christmas Buns

Christmas Buns eCard Animation
(case study)

An animated holiday greeting card featuring some very musical bunny tushies

CLIENT BACKGROUND

Hallmark eCards is a California-based division under the Hallmark Company that provides digital greeting cards.

THE CHALLENGE

To conceptualize and create a fun holiday eCard.

SCOPE OF WORK

  • Concept
  • Storyboard
  • Character Design
  • Background Design
  • Animation
  • Post-Production

THE OUTCOME

An adorable eCard featuring some squishy bunnies swaying their bell-tied bottoms to the song “Jingle Bells”.

CONCEPT & STORYBOARD

Hallmark was looking for Christmas eCard ideas, and among the three concepts I proposed, they chose this one where a bunch of bunnies with bells tied to their tails wiggle their butts to the tune of “Jingle Bells”.

Below is the storyboard of the eCard. I removed the text from it for the purposes of this case study, but here we see the camera panning down to a group of bunnies. The “Maestro Bunny” in the middle hops and turns its back to the camera, and the other bunnies follow suit, then they proceed to sway their bells/butts to the song, ending in the Maestro Bunny hitting a little triangle for the final chime.

STYLE & BACKGROUND

It took me a few iterations to nail down the look for Christmas Buns. I experimented with: 1) a dark sky with very “scratchy”, bare abstract trees, and grayish violet bunnies, 2) a mostly green environment, with subtle Christmas-y patterns on the sky, and brown bunnies, 3) a painted-looking blue and violet sky, and a more polished look for the bare trees, 4) the same painted sky with flat-colored trees, and 5) gray bunnies in little red and green coats.

The 5 concepts still somehow didn’t feel right so I tried again from scratch. This time, I filled the background with large, whimsically-shaped trees, some of which are adorned with Christmas decors and blinking lights to add some subtle animation during the introductory pan.

To me, this background gave the perfect bright and festive woodland feel to the eCard, as opposed the backgrounds with the violet colors which made the scene feel too quite.

ANIMATION

For the animation I used a mix of frame-by-frame and cut-out style. Here are process GIFs that show how some of the animation evolved, but for a more in-depth look you can check out the timelapse video below.

FINAL RESULT

And that’s how Christmas Buns came to be! Hallmark eCards enjoyed the animation so much that they asked me to make another “Buns” eCard for a different occasion (coming soon!).

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