Executive Creative Director
Nick Bell
Sig and Oli
TV Producer
Sarah Browell
Juriaan Booij
Production Company
RSA Films
Rupert Unwin
Production Coordinator
Lianne Dauban

Coffee & TV were asked to create a photo-real squirrel for Benecol ‘Pine Cones’ in addition to clean up work. Whilst the squirrel needed to look and move believably within its woodland habitat, its characterful humanist behaviour and motivation also needed to be entirely plausible.

Coffee & TV went on the shoot in Poland armed with a stuffed squirrel, so we could guide the director Juriaan Booji on the framing, lighting and composition of each scene in which the CGI squirrel would feature. We also engineered a puppetry mechanism to the branches, so we could ensure the squirrel’s movements interacted as naturally as possibly with its environment. Not only would a CGI squirrel ‘perform’ exactly as the director needed it to, the director and client were also able to choose the perfect breed of squirrel, one that that looks healthy, happy and clean to best reflect their product. Coffee & TV artists borrowed aspects from a large number of references, examining skeletal structures, skin, fur and colouring in order to get the right balance of ingredients.

The squirrel, named ‘Chops’ was modelled in Z-Brush before moving into XSI for fur creation and animation. An astonishing level of detail was employed throughout this collaborative process, with a charming and palatable result.