This Christmas… Be More

Bursting with excitement for a stop motion xmas

To compliment o2’s Be More Dog mentality we wanted to encourage people to get exciting gifts at christmas, not boring ones. We used exploding presents, cats in xmas jumpers, rubbish gifts and some yuletide digital magic.

We needed to show gifts that exploded with energy the minute they came into view compared to boring presents. And we needed to create exploding presents that firstly looked good, but could be used in a flexible way – we wouldn’t be able to shoot 20 or 30 phones/tablets and accessories with their own exploding gift sequence. My role was explore this and work out the best way to create the sequence. A way that would allow for small file sizes when needed, and an easy way to switch out the gift contents for whatever we wanted.
I explored numerous routes. The main ones being Flash, 3D and stop motion.

Explosion Testing

I explored 3D using cloth simulators. This wasn’t getting across the feeling of paper properly. And to get this photographic would cost time.

Stop motion////////
Setting up my own rig I created a stop motion sequence.

This proved the most visually interesting and most flexible way to do it. With minimal post production we could switch out the phone, control the amount and position of paper rips.
Taking the spirit of the Be More Dog “Dog Bombs” we wanted to show the bland vs the exciting in an eye catching way so I created some prototype sequences for us to work too.

This got agreed as the best way to do it.

Making the real thing

I then worked closely with Ric and the team at Blind Pig/ Absolute to make this happen for real.
The techniques used were the same but more controlled and with much better equipment and experienced hands.
We started off with doing stop motion sequences of a box exploding. After the inital shot of an unexploded box we worked up the next couple of parts but then jumped to the final frame to get a good comped endframe and then worked backwards from there.

Then we simulated hundred of rips of paper flying up and coming down to land – these would be comped together over the top of the stop motion sequence. We then did the same technique again with some glitter stars. We did this using a table with a hole cut in it, and a guy with a air blower – true story.

In post production we ended up with the perfect set up, an after effects file with the sequence on rails, and a space for the team to switch out movie clips. And a degree of flexibility to on number / position of paper rips.

Later we found out we needed bigger rips of paper – as the rips would be used to hold messaging. So we simply used the same rip sequences again but bigger. Not biggy.

Multiple platform Roll Out

These were then rolled out into Plasma screens, outdoor display, statics and flash. In flash sadly due to a slight mis-judgement on file size we only used the stop motion core sequence, and the rips and stars were re-created dynamically – but in the long run this was the best way for many reason – file size, CPU, and flexibility.


Creative Director – Jim C
Creatives – Josh D & Steve D / Neil S & Katie W C
Design & motion direction – Jonny Goodall
Design – Nick F
Stop-motion – Blind Pig
Motion Design – Tom W / Mik S
Tech lead / Flash Explosion developer – Tobin L

Banners – Composition & Asset testing / Interactive Art Direction

More Behind the Scenes