In Depth - ERCS Winter Check


The creative team at RLA asked me to come up with something a little different for their client ERCS’s campaign promoting Winter Checks for your vehicle.

We’d already done the ‘traditional’ method of showing animated type and cars a few times, so the team showed me a great moodboard, based on the work of great studios like Cub, and basic outline storyboard. I set about designing a character that would be both cute and expressive, going through a few iterations of character design, mainly changing the nose; “Cuter!” was the client feedback.

Once we settled on the Penguin I also suggested making a supporting character out of the fish that appears originally only in one scene on the storyboard. (I can’t take credit for him, a royalty free model from

He was then rigged and weight painted, (A big thanks to Aleksey at ACE5Studios for rigging help and advice) making sure he could blink and have some expression in his eyes, and then BOOM, he was ready to play around in the snow…

Learning curve

I love a challenge, and it was cool to be able to introduce some dynamics into the piece with wind and water simulation. Everyday’s a school day. I also used some HDRi lighting and PBR texturing on the snow, particularly effective as he skates down the hill with the sunlight on the ice.

Now   this     is the sort of client feedback I like!

Now this is the sort of client feedback I like!


Character development

The Penguin, or ‘Ian’ as he became known, went through a few cosmetic changes before we settled on the cute little guy you see in the final film.

Rigging and Motion test

Props, lighting and set build. From scamps to frames



Mixamo character movement, extra particles and snowfall added in After Effects, and some C4D water simulation, all added up to a really satisfying final result. The team at RLA added the Foley in the final edit, which made such a difference.


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