JibJab eCard catch up!

JibBlogJabBloggers! It’s been a while since the last update, hasn’t it? TOO a while, if you ask us. In that time, we’ve launched some snazzy eCards. Check ’em out…!

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“Impress Me,” says JibJab voice actor Jim Meskimen!

Our pal Jim Meskimen, voice of “This Land” and other classic JibJab hits, has a new TV show!

It’s called IMPRESS ME, and it’s certainly impressed team JibJab.

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Check it out on Pop TV Wednesdays at 10:30/ 9:30c, and tell ’em JibJab sent you.

“Biker Bunny” Easter eCard Behind-the-Scenes!

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For Easter this year, JibJab mastermind Jeff Gill came up with the idea to cast Easter Bunnies against type as rough and tumble bikers. He handed his animatic and vision to all-around CG guru Taylor Clutter (with some initial design assistance from Josiah Haworth). Tasked with making bunnies look tough to Judas Priest’s rocking anthem “You’ve Got Another Thing Comin’,” Taylor didn’t hop away with his tail between his legs. Far from it!

JIBJAB BLOG: Was it a challenge to make pastel Easter bunnies tough biker types? It goes beyond motorcycles and leather vests, right?

TAYLOR CLUTTER: I think we mostly just tried to have fun with the contrast. My favorite thing about the idea for this card was the juxtaposition between tough bikers and colorful rabbits. Hopefully people connect with the scene of a biker gang getting into a brawl. Only, in our silly version they’re throwing eggs instead of punches. We did some work early on to add little details to their vest and surroundings. If you look closely you might find a few “Easter Eggs” hidden in the details.

JJB: Have you ever driven a motorcycle? If so, did you feel like a tough bunny? If not, do you have any interest in getting on a hog and hitting the road?

TC: The only time I’ve ever ridden a motorcycle was when I was about 5 or 6 ridding with a family friend. I ended up burning my leg on a hot pipe and got left with a scar for a few years after that. So my relationship with motorcycles had a fairly rough start but I would like to try to ride again someday. Maybe when I’m a bit older I’ll grow a beard and wear more leather and start riding.

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JJB: Easter having a bunny mascot and then the eggs thing — it’s weird, right? What’s your theory? Did it inform how you approached this card?

TC: I’ve always imagined the easter bunny as this magical freaky cross between a hen, an actual rabbit and a human. Something about the Easter Bunny laying her (or his, who knows) eggs in the basket right before they get dropped off is immensely funny to me. As a joke, when we were just starting animation on this card I did a test of the bunny laying an Egg and immediately throwing it. Kind of gross but still sorta funny.

Big thanks to Taylor for chatting with us! You can cast yourself and some pals as Biker Bunnies for the toughest card of Easter RIGHT HERE!

Behind the Scenes of JibJab’s St. Patrick’s Day eCard Roll Out the Barrel

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For this St. Patrick’s Day, JibJab unleashed a stop-motion eCard “Roll Out the Barrel.” Director Jeff Gill found the song in his record collection, and created an animatic to get the barrel rolling…

This was passed along to our resident stop motion animator Colin Lepper, who was kind enough to answer a few questions and share some photos of his creative process…

1. Do you enjoy St. Patrick’s Day yourself?

Of course! Being the half Irishman that I am, I always celebrate by drinking half of every beer I have. It’s important to have fun AND be responsible, so I make sure I only have half of each of my 24 or so beers.  I always feel like day to day people are way to comfortable with their hand eye co-ordination and center of gravity, so it’s nice to have one day where people stop acting like walking and talking is so easy.

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2. Does green beer taste different than regular beer? 

It really depends, you’ve got so many types of green beer it’s hard to say. There’s just so many ingredients that could make it green you know? So I mean, if you throw some boring old food coloring into the beer then I guess it’d taste the same. But get some sour apple candy brewing in there? You got yourself a delicious dessert. Throw in some Kale and Cucumber? You’ve got a healthy snack. Throw in a Leprechaun? You’ve got a bloody mess. I don’t recommend that one.

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3. Stop motion animation is notoriously slow. How do you stay sane doing it? Or, is it presumptuous to assume you DO stay sane…?

It’s definitely a slow process, but it’s pretty thrilling. each photo you take is so key to the scene as a whole, and it’s really like watching something play out in super slow motion. It’s awesome in sports, and just as awesome in the world of stop motion. I do have  a few tricks to keep me sane while I’m working though, My wonderful friend Sarah tells me it’s because of my patience and diligence, but I’m still convinced that it’s because she is an ever present Aardvark that hand feeds me energy drink soaked croutons throughout the day.

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 Click on these words to plug you and some friends into this celebratory, green beer-filled eCard!

 

Last week’s JibJab eCard and Storybots book launches? You bet!

Last week we released a new stop motion eCard to celebrate the green beer fun of St. Patrick’s Day! It’s to the tune of “Roll Out the Barrel,” which is also the name of the card, oddly enough!

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On the opposite end of the spectrum, our StoryBots team released a CRAZY new book entitled, serendipitously, Crazy Day!

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A couple o’ new JibJab eCards out in the wild!

JibJab blog fans (and if you’re reading this, you’re one for reals), we released a couple super fun eCards recently…

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JibJab’s own wordsmith Scott Emmons says, “Getting older can be daunting, but as this playful eCard shows, happiness is just a hop, skip, and a jump away!” Doesn’t that sound delightful?

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Of this super cool card, wordmaster Scott declares, “Everybody has a funked up day now and then, but this eCard will help a friend get their groove back in no time!” Let us know if he’s right!

BEHIND-THE-SCENES of JibJab’s Valentine’s Day eCard “Sunshine and Lollipops”!

Yesterday we shared the behind the scenes of JibJab’s Valentine’s Day eCard “Let’s Get It On.” Today, as promised, we take a look at…

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A very different Jeff Gill animatic started things off…

A couple of our talented 3D animators, Taylor Clutter and Josiah Haworth then started designing some delicious candy backdrops and props for this sweetest of eCards.

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Jeff then personally tested out his vision for the performance aspect of the card. (Don’t let the look on his face fool you — he’s having the time of his life!)…

Once it was clear this vision was achievable, a professional dancer was cast and entered the world of blue screen!

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After the backgrounds are designed, and the live action dancing has been danced, it’s time to see how it all might work together…

Meanwhile, as blue screen dancing is danced, Taylor and Josiah are getting the backgrounds rendered and detailed…

Finally, well, the colorfully delightful results speak for themselves! So send your loved ones this fun lil’ eCard this Valentine’s Day!

BEHIND-THE-SCENES of JibJab’s Valentine’s Day eCard “Let’s Get It On”!

JibJab went and made 2015 way romantic with not one, not two, not three, but FOUR new Valentine’s Day eCards! The two big live action productions were directed by our resident lover of love Jeff Gill. First up in our fascinating BEHIND THE SCENES post is a caution-to-the-wind video set to Marvin Gaye’s classic “Let’s Get It On”…

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All videos at JibJab start with an animatic. This one was drawn and edited by the aforementioned Jeff Gill. Note how clearly these simple line drawings show what the finished product will look like…

The live action shoot was an on-location affair with some big ol’ production values…

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The finished product is ready for all your Valentine’s Day and romantic needs right now!

If that one is a little too risqué for you, JibJab also released a couple of more traditionally animated slices of heartwarming / destroying fun: “No Point” (animated by Megan McShane) and “Killer Valentine” (animated by Meegs Nairn)…

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Check out the blog tomorrow for a behind-the-scenes of our other big Valentine’s Day eCard, “Sunshine and Lollipops“!

Last week’s new JibJab and StoryBots releases!

JibJab did not sit idly by and just hang out in the new office (more on that soon) last week, waiting for the slides (more on those soon)… no! Hilarious videos were released to the internets to give laughter and joy to the masses!

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Heads will roll this Valentine’s Day, because nothing says “I love you” more than fighting back-to-back against a horde of zombies! Send “Killer Valentine’s Day” to a loved one or a couple loved ones you love…!

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Speaking of love, this inspiring StoryBots book straight up lists a bunch of things that make life fun. Read “So Much to Love to or with your kids today!

Big JibJab & StoryBots launches for 2015… SO FAR!

Hello, JibJabbers and StoryBots! We’ve uploaded a nice few batches of eCards and learning videos that have yet to get blog attention… and that ends NOW!

JANUARY 1, 2015 LAUNCHES

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Get comfy for your birthday with this hilarious eCard from our JibJab spoof goofers!

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Colors are fun, and the StoryBots want to sing about ’em! This one is about the hue of Pink!

Okay, now with January 5th out of the way, we went right on and posted not one, not two, but THREE videos the following week for…

JANUARY 12, 2015 LAUNCHES

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With the advent of digital photography, babies are now the most photographed creatures on the planet! This eCard captures that image capturing amusingly!

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Are butts funny? YES, is the answer from all JibJab employees. Laugh yours off with this birthday eCard!

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The StoryBots are helping kids count with fun songs, and as of January 12, 2015, they were already up to The Number 6!

So, yeah, 2015 is off to a pretty epic start, JibJab and StoryBot fans — and there is so much more in the works!

Behind the Scenes of 2014: YOU ARE HISTORY!

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Welcome, dear JibJabbers, to the Behind the Scenes blog for 2014’s Year in Review, lovingly entitled “2014: YOU ARE HISTORY!”

We here at JibJab are proud to present the ultimate breakdown of how we made our latest epic short (is that a contradiction?), so click on the links below for photos, videos, and stories! It’s sure to be a lot of fun… and you might just learn something, too. (JK, LOLz.)

Behind the Scenes of “Elf Fun Factory”!

This holiday season, JibJab whipped up not one, but TWO eCards! One uses cutting edge CGI technology (computers and stuff), while the other went more old school (stop motion animation). It’s the best of both worlds! First up, we’ll get hi tech with our CGI card, “Elf Fun Factory“…

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All of our productions start with an animatic. This one was created by director Jeff Gill, who loves elf fashion and dancing to calypso music, particularly the Harry Belefonte classic “Jump in the Line.” Thank goodness the holidays give him a creative outlet for it all…

Next, Jeff works with our 3D modeling and animation team to bring his animatic to life. Animators Taylor Clutter, Michelle Kwon, Reece Porter, and Kevin Temmer had to literally think like elves in order to achieve Jeff’s vision. No small task, despite any elf puns that might’ve popped in your head like so many sugar canes. Taylor cut together this progression video, showing the card from animatic to finished visuals…

Once the action is all in place, our animators add finishing touches like lighting and texturing are added to give it that hyper-real cartoon flavor discerning audiences love, while still retaining that scrappy JibJab charm — but then there’s still one important, unseen step… sound effects! Our resident audio guru Nick Ainsworth adds this finishing touch to the production. The best way to truly appreciate it is without music…

Finally, designer Jaime Williams created the logo at the top of this post and the casting card at the bottom of it while tech artist Robbie Harrison finished and bundled everything for uploading to JibJab.com!

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Send this slice of holiday hilarity to someone you want to make laugh today!

 

BEHIND THE SCENES of “Bird is the Word”!

JibJab Thanksgiving eCard this year uses the rock ‘n roll classic “Surfin’ Bird” for… “Bird is the Word“!

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Check out some exclusive behind-the-scenes shenanigans with quotes from director/turkey Jeff Gill below…!

A video like “Bird’s The Word” can’t just be shot willy nilly, so Jeff shot test footage with game JibJab artist Megan McShane in the turkey role. Together they mapped out the shots that made up the actual card. (And Megan finally had a legitimate reason to run around Venice, CA flapping her arms like a turkey.)

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Meanwhile, JibJabber Clinton Fanelli went full-on MacGyver to create a GoPro camera rig for some of the crazier shots in the video.

Next step was testing it out with a JibJab-style “cast yourself” head. The results were delightful!

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So, with the knowledge that his vision could be achieved, it was time for Jeff to go full-turkey. “This was probably the most difficult eCard I’ve ever preformed in,” Jeff said. “Wearing the insulated turkey costume on a hot summer day in Venice, CA made me so hot that I nearly passed out.”

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He says that at one point Megan and JibJab artist/cameraman Nate Swinehart “had to actually rip open air vents on the side of the outfit so that I wouldn’t overheat.”

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Though he survived, he must’ve lost about five pounds in sweat. “It was like baking in an oven, but in a turkey, which is in some ways ironic.”

Despite the dehydration, Jeff says, “It was a blast getting to run around the city and get friendly catcalls of people who enjoyed seeing a giant turkey. Because who doesn’t like to see that?”

Seriously, if you haven’t seen this video, check it out, and send it to a turkey in your life for Thanksgiving!

Last week’s new releases! So much fun…

Not one, but TWO new videos from team JibJab & StoryBots last week!

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Thanksgiving hilarity ensues early with “The Bird’s the Word“!

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And The StoryBots Number Songs series continues with “The Number 4“!

3 Quick Q’s with the GRATE Megan Nairn!

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Megan Nairn, or “Meegs” as we call her around JibJab HQ, is the brains behind our latest YOU ROCK eCard: “You Are Grate.”

She kindly A’d a few Q’s about how how she came up with this fun bit o’ cheese…

How did you come up with the idea of this charmingly “cheesy” card?

Ate a bunch of cheese before bed time!

Do you enjoy cheese? If so, do you have a favorite?

I’m actually lactose intolerant :( But back in my carefree consumer of Camembert days, I would have to go with a good ol’ squishy brie at room temperature. I miss cheese.

What is a rocking thing one could do to earn a “you rock” eCard such as this in one’s inbox?

Make your best friend a pizza. With extra cheese! With extra vegan cheese if they are lactose intolerant!

Thanks, Meegs! Someone make her a vegan ‘za stat!

And thanks for reading this lil’ Q&A, JibJabbin’ Blog enthusiast! Don’t forget to tell someone who rocks “YOU ROCK” today…!

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