Issue: Animation - Jun 23, 2004


LOS ANGELES - Z Animation ( has created four animated spots for BASF promoting the company's Headline fungicide. Conceived by Brighton/St. Louis, the spots are airing in crop-specific markets across seven states.

While the Headline product is suitable for wheat, sugar beets, peanuts and potatoes, it would not have been practical to shoot live action of all four crops and their harvest seasons. Instead, the Z team of director/designer David Chomowicz, co-director/producer Rob Issen and executive producer Peter Barg used CG environments and seamless camera moves to connect BASF's lab work with the benefits that farmers see in the fields.

The team chose Softimage|XSI for its character animation and 2D toon shading capabilities. The application's character control and Renderpass system allowed the animators to mix and match 3D elements without having to rebuild scenes. The environments and camera moves were designed to be applied to all four spots.

Arthur Mount provided style frames for the animation team, which was led by Jason Strougo. Maurice Caicedo handled character animation. Mike McKenna and Pramod Medichalam were CG artists.

Kate O'Neill and Nelson Rowe provided Flame work via Splash in New York. Visiontracks in St. Louis and SoundHound in New York handled the mixes. Ben Zebelman and John Fields of DHMA in New York created original music for the campaign.