Case study #3: Bank Of Scotland - "With you all the way"

Hibbert Ralph Animation created and produced a spot for Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe Y&R and Bank of Scotland which involved zooming out of a scene by such a huge amount that it was impossible to do with existing 2D animation software. ‘With You All The Way’ proved so complex to produce that Hibbert Ralph Animation commissioned us to customise CelAction2D to make the camera move not only possible, but easy to control.

The spot follows a young man on his journey from teenage years through to parenthood and beyond, encountering all the situations life has to throw at him. The commercial stands out thanks to an engaging visual trick: a repeated long pullback technique taking us from one scene to the next. Each pullback is done in a way that transforms the ground into a close-up of the man’s head at the start of the next scene.

The pullback looks deceptively simple but it was, in fact, a big technical challenge. What ends up as a just a few pixels in the second sequence had to be 1024x576 pixels at the start. This pullback process was repeated eight times, with each scene requiring greater multiples of the starting image. So Hibbert Ralph Animation had to scale-up their camera to 3 times 10 to the power of 14, that is to say 300,000,000,000,000 times bigger than the original image. This type of move presented many problems in controlling the different speeds within the commercial. Within a few days of the request, we had produced new camera functions that allowed the required camera move to be achieved within the tight deadline of the commercial's production.

In the end, each sequence was animated in Adobe Flash to create a feel mirroring the style of the original illustrations. The Flash files were imported into Adobe Illustrator, in order to put them in the right colour space and to add resolution to the vector data. The Illustrator files were then imported into CelAction2D where the camera move was applied. The resultant movie was then taken into Adobe After Effects to add the finishing touches, including tracking a faint overall texture to match the camera move.

CelAction2D already had the power to handle vectors at such a high resolution, and the new technology added for this unusual camera move has already been integrated with the many other features of the software. All of our current clients, and all of our future ones, will benefit from this, and it's a great example of how our methods of development create a product that's bigger than the sum of its parts.

Once again, we prove that having a software developer who is willing and able to respond to the client's needs is extremely important in the animation process. Sometimes scripting is not enough, you need access to the core of the software to get performance that is impossible to achieve otherwise. Our clients are at the cutting edge of creativity and technology. And CelAction is with them all the way.

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