Behind the Scenes – Walking on Sunshine!

Walking on Sunshine, our latest Starring You video, is sure to be the feel good hit of the summer. We started production in winter, but luckily JibJab is located a block away from Venice Beach in sunny Los Angeles where it’s pretty much summer all year round!

We started with the song choice and a vague idea of the theme – fun, partying, summer, pool party, etc- and just started drawing!

However, before we could hit the beach we had to make an animatic. As the animatic developed, some of the gags got cut and we added in the idea of surfing. How Californian of us!

When we were happy with the animatic, we started brainstorming some visual ideas.

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Once we had an idea of the style for the card, we hit the beach for some visual development! That’s right – we went to the beach for completely legitimate work purposes. We shot some test footage, then we collaged it together into a video with our designs to see if our concept would work as well as look cool.

This is where we came up with the methods of filming the effects like splashes. We used a highly technical technique of throwing sand into the ocean (it’s okay, it came from there in the first place). We filmed the splash, then used After Effects trickery to separate it from the background and put it where we wanted in the video. For the character that is buried in the sand, we literally buried Jeff’s arm (the director of e-card’s arm) in the sand and filmed him ‘escaping’. Once again, we found that we could whip up something that looked pretty real with a bit of masking, rotoscoping and colour grading in After Effects.

After the test/research/hang at the beach phase, we were ready to go full force in production…which unfortunately meant going back to the beach to shoot more footage with a proper camera. Gnarly brah!

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We also purchased a lot of pool toys so we could take photos of them in the studio at lots of angles that we might want to use in the animation. This was a challenge as the crew were new to lighting a studio, but they overcame all obstacles with lots of enthusiasm and only one broken wine glass (which was being used as a prop stand).

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Then, as the sun really started to shine for the beginning of Summer, we returned indoors to our computers to animate the entire thing in After Effects. It was lots of fun making the silly characters’ butts wiggle in their ridiculous swimsuits! We think the finished product has a lot of energy and a lot of laughs. I guess we’ll celebrate by hitting the beach!

Cast Yourself in The Loan Ranger!

Throughout the season, we’ve been releasing our own versions of the summer’s blockbuster movie posters. Naturally, we couldn’t resist getting a little punny. After all, who wouldn’t want to see The Great Catsby? The addition of a single cat makes the movie 100% more watchable. Of course, who could forget about the man with a steel stomach, Supper Man, Harvard’s scariest dropouts in Monsters Community College, and extreme couponing taken to an intergalactic level with Store Trek! The best part? You and your friends are the stars of these knockoff hits!

Today, we’re releasing the final Starring You Picture in our series of summer movies, and it’s the movie that all the critics are not raving about! Introducing, The Loan Ranger!

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Check out the whole series of movie posters here!

Not a movie buff? Remember that you can send free Independence Day ecards through July 4th. ‘Merica!

New eCard – You’re a Starfish!

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There may be plenty of fish in the sea, but in our newest birthday eCard, You’re a Starfish, you can make sure your friend knows they are the star on their big day. Make your friend an Underwater Idol that has moves that reality TV would die for. We spoke with Lauren to learn a little more about the artist behind the butt-cheeks…

1) Where/how did you come up with the concept of this card?

The director of eCards here at JibJab, Mr. Jeff Gill, had me draw a theme out of a hat! I had just been hired, and this was my first eCard, and the theme i drew was “underwater”. I thought the “you’re a star (fish)” pun was way funnier than it probably actually is, so i went with it.

2) If you were a fish what kind would you be? Why?

I would be a fan-tail goldfish, so i could better understand my pet fish, Skeeter.

3) Where do you imagine this starfish is performing?

I imagine the starfish in this card had a tough road and really fought his way to stardom. This is probably his first performance at a major stadium, and he almost didn’t make it in time because his submarine van broke down. I bet his wealthy, famous, competition is behind stage; bitter about his unexpected success.

4) Who would you be most excited to cheer for if you were in this goldfish audience?

I would probably die if i could see Florence and the Machine live. I’m such a fangirl for Florence Welch.

Just Plane Cheeseburgers?!?

The production team was clearly hungry during a little day-dreaming cartoon session yesterday. The theme was “cheeseburger airplane.” What is a cheeseburger airplane, you ask? Why, a dream come true. See what our artists’ imaginations “cooked” up below. Great, now we’re hungry too!

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New eCard – Morning After Turtle

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Birthdays are a time for celebration! But, perhaps most importantly, they are a time to make bad decisions that will haunt you the next morning. We’ve all been there – where a night of birthday debauchery leaves you waking up with a hangover and some serious ‘splaining to do.

With that in mind, make sure your friends don’t over do it with our brand new Birthday eCard, Morning After TurtleIan Abando, illustrator and animator, told us what the “shell” he’s all about.

1. What’s the inspiration behind this hilarious eCard?

I think YOLO [“You Only Live Once”] is a suitable answer.

2. Have you ever woken up regretting a decision made the night before?

Maybe a little buyer’s remorse here and there. You have to stay up pretty late to win bids on eBay.

3. We’ve always thought that you get immunity to do any crazy thing on your birthday. Would you agree?

I would agree, but any photos taken the “morning after” would fall outside of that immunity.

4. In terms of the “Animal Kingdom,” what would the ultimate party animal be?

Probably an octopus or something like that. They have the most arms and would have the craziest drinking games.

5. Is it true that if you don’t remember doing something, it didn’t happen?

It won’t hold up in court, but I would say it’s true.

Check out more of Ian’s art and send Morning After Turtle to that birthday party animal today!

New eCard – Happy Pug Day!

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Summer may have just started, but the “Dog Days” are already here. Why? Well, it’s thanks to the release of our brand new, pet-friendly “Happy Pug Day” eCard! You can put a friend’s mug on this pug and have a doggone good time. Shall we continue, or have you had enough dog puns for one day?

We spoke with the man behind the leash, Jeff, to find out a little more about this quirky new eCard for our JibJab dog- er, blog…

1) If you could be any kind of dog, what would you be? Why?

I would want to be a beagle. I just feel like those long ears would look good on me.

2) Are you a dog person, or a cat person?

Dog person, hands down! Or should I say “Paws down”?

3) How would you celebrate National Pug Day?

With a Pugmas tree, of course!

4) If dogs could talk, what would they say?

“Bark!”

5) Any idea why dogs love hanging out car windows so much?

Probably for the same reasons I do… because they just got out of the shower and didn’t have time to blow-dry their hair before going to work.

Know someone who would love to be a dog for a day? Send Happy Pug Day today!

The Big Race

Things got heated at JibJab this week when our head designer, Andy, challenged artist, Kurt, to a good ol’ fashioned race in the parking lot. Nothing blows a little steam off like a race. The office was divided between the 2 artists. Who would win?

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Kurt won…by a landslide. But that didn’t stop the rest of the team from gearing up to try and race him as well. He will forever be the parking lot race champion!

New eCard – Bad Cake

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Why is cake so bad when it tastes so good? Help that birthday someone give into temptation this year with our newest birthday card, Bad Cake. Let the smooth sounds of that rich frosting and fluffy sponge cake talk you into indulgence. It’s only your birthday once a year right? No better day to be a bit bad. We spoke with artist extraordinaire, Rajiv Eipe, about his experience with cakes.

1) Where did you get the inspiration for this hilarious, smooth-talking cake?

When i heard the audio track for this card, the deep, soulful voice reminded me of one person- Barry White. I didn’t really know his music, but i’d seen an episode of the Simpsons that featured him. So i watched a lot of his videos and tried to get a little his character into Bad Cake.

2) Do any foods “speak” to you? What would they say?

Foods speak to me all the time. It’s usually the last slice of Pizza or the last helping of Chicken Curry, begging to be finished. But they don’t sound half as seductive as Bad Cake.

3) Do you have any smooth lines you use like this sexy cake?

No, not really. The smoothest line will turn into a stuttering, mumbling jumble of words when i try to say it, so i don’t even try.

4) Is it better to resist temptation or just give in?

Definitely give in.

5) What would you do if a real cake started talking to you in a sexy voice?

Whatever it told me to…

6) Is cake really the bad boy? Or is there a sweet soul underneath?

A little bit of both i think. He’s bad, but not in a foul, mean way. There’s definitely a sweet soul underneath.

If cake speaks to you, send Bad Cake to that birthday indulger today!

New eCard – Revolves Around You

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Do you have someone in your life who loves to be the center of attention? Well on their birthday you can let them know — hey, everything really does Revolve Around You! We sat down with Eddie, to find out his views on space and a little bit more about the man on the moon … er, monitor.

1) How did the idea for this eCard come to you?

I was brainstorming ideas for putting the starring you head into different things and the funniest thing i could think of was to put the head in the sun and have it slowly drift into frame. The pun “revolves around you” came afterwards to help sell the initial idea.

2) Do you think there are other life forms beyond Earth, and would they celebrate birthdays?

Sure I think there are other life forms, but to celebrate a birthday you need the sun to signify a day and to count the years since your birth.  In space it is possible for a day to last a hundred years or a hundred seconds, maybe other lifeforms celebrate birth-minutes or birth-millenniums.

3) Would you ever want to celebrate a birthday in outer space?

Space seems pretty uncomfortable, maybe if in the future space travel was a little more cozy I would celebrate a birthday there.

4) If you were a planet, which would you be?

I would be mercury, because I like being close to the center of attention, but not carrying the conversation all on my own.

To let that birthday someone know the day (and universe) revolves around them, send Revolves Around You today!!

New eCard – Oh My God I Forgot Your Birthday!

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Oh my God, it’s a new eCard! It’s a goal and pleasure of ours to bring you new eCards on the regular. This week our eCard comes from the talented Chris O’Hara. Chris decided there’s no better way to distract someone from the fact that you forgot their birthday than with a good ol’ fashion dance move. Oh My God I Forgot Your Birthday features one jazzed up guy who gets down to some electronic beats, hoping it will make up for his forgetfulness. We talked to Chris a bit about his eCard and thoughts about missing a birthday.

JJ: Have you ever forgotten someone’s birthday?

CO: I forgot my dog’s that one time, but he was cool about it.

JJ:  How did you make it up to him?

CO: I took him to a Baha Men concert.

JJ: We’re sure he loved that, did you pull dance move inspiration from your own collection of moves?

CO: Nah, my dance moves are far too complex and elaborate to ever try to animate.

JJ: Or imitate. Has anyone ever forgotten your birthday?

CO: My dog, but I was cool about it.

JJ: We suppose you cancel each other out. What is the best present you ever received for your birthday?

CO: Probably my unicorn.

JJ: That sounds like the most amazing gift ever! We bet your dog was jealous.

To see more of Chris’ animation check out his Vimeo. And if you happened to forget someone’s birthday, send this eCard today!

New eCard – Candle Brightness

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In our newest eCard, Candle Brightness, you can let that special birthday someone know that every new candle on their cake just adds brightness to their birthday. We got to talk a little with Taylor Annisette, the artist behind the eCard.

-How did you animate this eCard? The texture is so cool.

I animated it using a combination of Photoshop, Flash, and After Effects. Photoshop has a lot of great brushes that create some really neat textures! Also magic. I used a bit of that.

-What kind of cake do you imagine that is?

I’m imagining that it’s a homemade carrot cake with cream cheese icing, and almost definitely made by a grandmother. Possibly a Great Aunt.

- How many candles is too many on a cake?

There’s never too many candles; there can only be too little cake.

- How did you celebrate your last birthday?

My friends put me in a box and painted me yellow so I looked like Spongebob, and then we sang “Take on Me” by A-ha at karaoke. Thankfully, there has been no photographic evidence posted. Yet.

A friend feeling that another year older will make them dim? Then send, Candle Brightness, today to wish them a bright burning birthday.

New eCard – Beat Death

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In our newest birthday card, one Grandma shows death who’s boss. This eCard is perfect for someone who’s getting older but still kicking butt! We spoke with Megan, who came up with the animatic for this eCard. Check out the animatic below, then see what Megs had to say.

-How old do you imagine the woman in the card to be?

Give or take 180, but she doesn’t look a day over 107. I think Ivan Dixon, the animator & designer of the card, did a great job of designing a character that is total classic grandma

-Have you ever had a brush with death?

Just this one;

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-Where did you pull inspiration for the battle scene?

Well, I thought of the gag of someone beating up death first and worked backwards from there. I thought of the most unlikely character to bust out some moves to create some comedy of the unexpected.  I also watch lots of action packed cartoons and movies, so the vocabulary of battle is in my blood stream. That’s how the idea came about.

-Do you think Granny is fighting dirty?

No way, she beat death fair and square. Anything goes when you you are challenged by the grim reaper.

JibJab Goes Hadouken on the Web!

Internet trends come and go; with planking, the harlem shake and owling. But now the Hadouken craze is taking over the internet and JibJab. This Street Fighter move has taken to the streets. No time to make your own? Star in one today! You can cast up to 5 friends (or enemies, or frien-emies) HERE. It’s FREE. Did we mention that? Free, free free.

The finished product of 90's video game memories and internet craziness!

The finished product of 90′s video game memories and internet craziness! This is our JibJab Hadouken free eCard. You’re quite welcome, world.

Hadouken Behind Scenes

This is a special behind-the-scenes look at Catherine jumping. These JibJabbers had a good time making this eCard, and definitely got a workout with all that jumping and crouching! No JibJabb employees were harmed in the making of this eCard.

BOOM!!! It's like a conga line of force!

BOOM!!! It’s like a conga line of force!

This was where the magic happened.

This was where the magic happened.

In between takes...

In between takes…

New eCard – Cake Spinner

For our newest eCard, Cake Spinner, we let the artist, Amelia, rather than tell you her process in making the card…show you.

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Send Cake Spinner today!

Behind The Scenes of JUMP!

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This Easter we brought back a 90s hip hop hit, Jump by Kriss Kross, and put a JibJab spin on it for our new Easter eCard. Kurt, Megan, Lauren, Nate and Romney, all artists on the production team, were cool enough to volunteer to literally JUMP for 6 hours while shooting. Take a look at some of the behind the scenes photos.

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Jump along with us and cast your friends and family in Jump this Easter!

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