Impressive VFX work showcased in behind-the-scenes reel

Ikea’s short film Little Robot, created by agency Mother, was brought to life by director Ninian Doff, with Nineteentwenty providing 53 shots of VFX work. 

Nineteentwenty was involved pre-production, with its creative director Bill McNamara suggesting the production used humans in suits for the shoot, so Doff could direct these characters on set.

With a shoot scheduled at the end of March, Nineteentwenty started concepting the robot based on initial ideas focusing on design, character, facial expression/emotion and limb movement.

On concept approval, Nineteentwenty’s head of CG Chris King’s team began work on the asset build, rigging, animation tests and look dev so the team on set had a good idea of what the finished 3D robot would look like.

Doff shot an actor (Kiran Shah) in a suit for Nineteentwenty to augment as well as lots of interaction and physical elements to use with the VFX house’s fully CG robot (see the behind-the-scenes film below).

“In total there were 53 shots requiring lots of tricky tracking, cg, environment and general clean up,” Jon Hurst, Nineteentwenty managing director told Broadcast.

“We did all the matte painting and environment work, creating the gritty urban setting alongside the CG robot in a very tight four week post schedule. We used a combination of 3D software (Houdini, Maya, Mudbox and Substance Painter) and Nuke for compositing, with delivery being managed in Nuke Studio.”


Agency: Mother

Client: Ikea

Production Company: Pulse Films

Director: Ninian Doff

Pulse Managing Director / Executive Producer: James Sorton

Pulse Producer: John Bannister

Pulse Production Manager: Fatima Zaman

Production Designer: David Lee

Concept Artist: Sylvie Minois

Director of Photography: Fabien Wagner

Editing: Leo King, Stitch Editing

Music Supervision: Nick Nash

Sound: Sam Ashwell, 750mph

Producer: David Keegan

VFX Supervisor / Creative Director: Bill McNamara

2D Lead: Chrys Aldred

3D Lead: Chris King

2D Artists: Adam McHale, Claire Larkin, Nicole Palucsis, Joe Holt, Reynold Rodrigues, Leila Wishart

3D Artists: Adam White, Ben Revens, Ben Thomas, Eva Bennett, Martin Blunden, Andrew Maccabe, Urte Olsauskaite, Ivan Tomovic, Christopher Holmes, Oliver Atton-Higgins, Elena Schurkus, Alison Stott, Greg Martin

Matte Painting: Aurelien Ronceray

Colourist: Kai Van Beers, Duncan Russell, Nineteentwenty