Yeah, but does it scale?

CSX Date

For those of you who saw our Christmas short we made back in 2013 (go here if you haven’t), it represented a new way of thinking about our animated work. After years of work that was almost exclusively CG (computer generated), the staff here at Out of Our Minds were looking for a way to get back to the hands on methods of film making and creating animation. The Christmas Short was a combination of CG characters placed into miniature, real-life, physical sets. It gave us the opportunity to flex different art muscles that we hadn’t tapped into in a while and was eye-opening.

Since then we have jumped at every opportunity to pitch this style of work to any clients who we believed could benefit. That latest client was Mullen Lowe for the continuing CSX How Tomorrow Gives campaign. Stepping away from the low-poly look developed for the original round of spots, Mullen Lowe agreed to go with this new look for their next set of spots that tout the “Good Karma” brought on by giving to others.

2 new spots entitled “Date” and “Walk” focus on fictional characters who receive unbelievably good luck following their donations on the howtomorrowgives.org website. This post will show a little of the behind the scenes for “Date”.

The brief for “Date” called for a single guy to initiate a Rube Goldberg chain of events that result in a response from an online dating site. Below you’ll see sample boards and sketches of our main character.

initial concepts for “Date” character


sample boards for “Date”


3d version of “Date” character. He came to be known as “Magic Man”

At the same time we were developing “Magic Man” we were also concepting and building the miniature set that would be his apartment.


apartment concept


model maker Camille Knouff poses with the initial construction of apartment


Time lapse of model maker Rebecca Jones building the miniature couch


Rebecca and Camille check out the progress


Magic Man was deemed to be a fan of Jazz music. So we had to make a miniature tour poster!

Once all assets were completed, animation and filming of the sets began. The merging of the miniature plates and the rendered animation helped to come together. See below for a quick breakdown of a sample shot.

Thanks again! We’ll cover the making of “Walk” in a post to come soon. Hope you enjoy!

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