60 seconds with Mill Animation Director David Bryan on taking Kenny The Koala on an adventure for Cushelle ‘Tubeless’

Work October 24, 2022

What was the brief for Cushelle and how did you go about bringing it to life?

The brief was to take Kenny on an action movie-like adventure, as he runs off with the new longer lasting quilted, tubeless roll. It is a fun continuation of the Cushelle obsessed Koala as he makes his escape while trailing streams of paper behind him along the way.

Kenny the Koala has already been well established by now, so his behaviour is consistent with his previous adventures. However what was new for this script was the trailing paper and for this we wanted it to look as visually appealing as possible, almost resembling the rhythmic ribbons you might find at the olympics. We used hand keyed character animation to drive a simulated CG paper trail and the results were as energetic and rhythmic as we had hoped for.


What was the most challenging aspect of this project?

The CG paper trails were the biggest challenge for this campaign because it needed to be art directed but it was important that it looked and behaved realistically while still having an aesthetic quality to the flow and rhythm. To achieve this, we observed how different body motions would affect the paper aesthetics and general flow of the in real life, as well as how different travelling speeds and paper stream lengths would affect the shapes created. Once we had our desired look for the paper, we used Kenny’s character animation to essentially puppeteer our simulated paper trails.

BTS footage of how the team captured the paper trails.

What was your favourite part about working on the project?

Filming our animation references for Kenny was a lot of fun! We shot animation references for just about everything including how the paper should react on the roll holder as it unravels. Our young actor on set gave us the perfect reference to follow for how Kenny should run down the hallway, with a wonderful childlike energy, arms spread out like an aeroplane. My partner Olia acted out Kenny’s victorious moment perfectly as she pretended to hang out of a train carriage window shaking her hair in the wind!

Olia acting out Kenny’s victorious moment

“We aimed to push Kenny's character flaws a bit further with this brief to make him somewhat more relatable and fun. Often a character with a perfect personality can have the opposite effect and end up being very unlikable. For example, If you have ever found yourself more interested in the villain in a story, it is likely that their motives and flaws were just more interesting than the heroes! In this case, as we see Kenny sneaking his way through the house with the Cushelle paper under his arm, he shows a brief moment of guilt...but he gets over it pretty quickly as we see him excitedly waving down a taxi to begin his getaway!”
David Bryan, Animation Supervisor

You can get in touch with David and our VFX team via our contact page.