New eCard – Cocktail Time

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What do you get when you mix fun, good times and laughs? A birthday with a kick! Our newest eCard, Cocktail Time, features one bar tender who knows how to mix up a good time.  We spoke with Rob Bryson to find out a little more about the man behind the bar, er, eCard.

Have you ever worked as a bartender?

Actually I have and it can be a very fun job. As soon as I got into animation I had to stop serving drinks and start consuming more of them. That is a joke…I still serve them.

Do you have a favorite drink?

I enjoy a cider from time to time, I think my favorite right now is blackthorn. 

How about a favorite watering hole? (Anywhere in the world)

I did go to this great little bar or the rooftop patio of a pizzeria right next to the Colosseum in Rome about 5 years ago. That city has to be my favorite place in the world(so far) because every inch of it is so rich with history. Hopefully one day I will be able to go back.

Looking to serve up a smile on someone’s birthday? Send Cocktail Time today!

New eCard – Cake Goal!

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What’s a better birthday game than pin the tail on the donkey? Playing soccer with a cupcake, of course! Our newest birthday eCard, Cake Goal, was created with puppets and stop motion animation. We spoke with Elizabeth McMahill about her process in making this intricate card.

How long did this card take to animate?
Counting everything, it took almost two weeks to get this card animated – only two days of that was actual animation though!  Lots of time also went into sourcing the photos for the characters, making the puppets, setting up a camera and down-shooter to animate on, and finalizing the video in After Effects once all the pieces were made and animated.

Where did you come up with the style you chose?
The style for this card was very much influenced by the works of Terry Gilliam, who did the cut-out animations for Monty Python.  (If you’ve never seen them you should look them up!  They’re brilliantly funny!)  Like him, I used mostly older style photographs, cut them up, and combined them to make the puppets.

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Who are the people in the crowd? Anyone famous or just some stock photos?
I don’t think any of those people are famous.  One of Abraham Lincoln’s sons almost made it in, but he was a little to serious in his photos to make it into this card, he had his arms crossed and everything.  The people aren’t stock photos though.  They come from various archives from all around the world that have been digitized and released on Flickr as public domain.  A lot of the photos of people I used came from library archives in Australia and Norway and were mostly taken in the early 1900s.

Are you a soccer fan?
The only time I actually watch soccer is when I go to a local Mexican restaurant for tortas.  They always have soccer playing on the televisions, except on Friday nights when they do karaoke!

Do you play soccer? If so what position?
The last time I played soccer was probably in grade school…  I remember always really wanting to play goalie.  I don’t know if I could do it now though unless I was still playing with 8 year olds.  Having things kicked that hard in my general direction would be pretty scary.  I’d probably just duck and run away, so they’d have to find a new goalie.

Check out Elizabeth’s blog here and help make someone’s birthday a win, with Cake Goal, today!

Behind the Scenes of I’m Looking Over a 4 Leaf Clover

Our new St Patrick’s Day Starring You eCard features four singers in green pinstripes! We went behind the scenes to see how I’m Looking Over a Four Leaf Clover was created…

We loved watching Looney Tunes as kids, not only for the awesome animation, but for some pretty sweet music too! In the short “Operation: Rabbit” there’s a part where Bugs Bunny sings the song “I’m Looking Over A Four Leaf Clover” (swapping out the word ‘four’ with ‘three’) and that song’s been stuck in our head ever since, so when it came time to develop our St. Paddy’s day card, we knew exactly what to do!

The song is one we associate with ragtime piano and barbershop quartets, which are known for having all of their voices blend to become one. So when it came time to film, rather than bring in four different actors, we decided to pull another Feliez Navidad and film all the parts with just Jeff to ensure the most ‘one-ness’ possible!

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Apparently green-striped barbershop costumes are a little hard to come by, so before filming the actual card we did a quick test wearing a white shirt covered with red tape and white shoes, complete with garbage-bag squares to mimic the look of saddle shoes. The reasoning was to test the possibility of wearing red stripes and color-shifting the footage to resemble the green we wanted (this is also the reason why Jeff’s face looks so Frankenstein-ish).

When the test proved to be a success, we were able to film Jeff in different chunks, off-set the footage, and key it all together to look like there were actually four of him dancing with himself! While synchronizing four different actors would have also worked, it’s hard to compete with the exactness you can get from having one actor literally duplicated over and over and over.

Using the footage as a guide, our illustrator Eusong did a great job designing a lush green field for the quartet to parade around in. Once shadows and color correction took place, we ended up with one fine little St. Paddy’s day card!

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Haven’t seen the final product yet? Cast yourself and friends in I’m Looking Over a Four Leaf Clover!

Cool Ranch Taco Day

We had quite a fun surprise while working at the office today. Our director of eCards, Jeff, decided to buy everyone a new Cool Ranch Dorito Taco from Taco Bell. Not only was it a nice treat during the afternoon, but they were really delicious too! Take a look at some of the artists taking their first bite out of their taco, proving not all Californians insist on eating healthy *all* the time.

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Nate LOVES the new cool ranch Dorito taco!!

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First bite…mmm!!!

Have you tried one yet? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below.

 

New eCard – Hall of Beards

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In our new Starring You birthday eCard, Hall of Beards, you can let that birthday someone know that THEY are the real piece of art on their birthday. To find out more about the many beards featured in this eCard, we spoke with the animator, Jeff Delgado.

1) Did you have anyone particular  in mind when designing the portraits of bearded men?

I did a lot of research for hilarious and ridiculous beard shapes on the internet and in books. Some of them were inspired by men that compete in the World Beard and Mustache Championships while others were completely made up by me.

2) Do you have a beard?

I sadly do not have a beard. I’ve tried to grow one in the past but chickened out and shaved it off! Someday…someday.

3) What is your favorite type of beard?

Mutton chops that connect to a mustache leaving the chin exposed has to be one of my favorite beard styles. Only an extremely manly man can pull that look off.

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4) What are your thoughts on having a beard but no mustache?

That look got Daniel Day-Lewis an Oscar and President Lincoln on the five dollar bill. Clearly, there is some magic associated with that style of beard.

5) How long did this card take to animate?

There was so much painting to complete for this eCard. Not only did I have to paint each bearded fellow but I also had to design the gallery background. It took about two weeks of nonstop work on my part.

Give your friend a beard of frosting for their birthday with this eCard!

The Sweet Sounds of JibJab

You already know that at JibJab we are funnyartistic and technology savvy…but did you know we are amazing singers as well? We didn’t either, until our recent karaoke jam session! We gathered on a Friday afternoon to bond by belting out our favorite Celine Dion and Billy Joel songs. We had a great time singing, laughing and making memories.

Check out the photos below to see how we took to the stage.

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Let us know what your favorite karaoke song is, in the comments below.

New eCard – Swearing Off Cake

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In our new eCard, Swearing Off Cake, you’ll see that while many people resist the temptation of birthday cake — there’s always someone willing to dig right in! We talked a little with Sagan Yee, artist and animator of this eCard and found out two fun facts:

1. Originally the entire card was black and white, but at some point she was inspired to add the blue background in there to make it more visually interesting. The cake already had pink icing, so she thought blue would make for a nice contrast. The color scheme fit the music too; light and kinda snappy.

2. As we chatted about cake, Sagan got to thinking about ice cream too.  Turns out she no longer eats dairy, but finds that mashed frozen bananas make a really good substitute.  Otherwise, she likes vanilla bean made with coconut milk, with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar reduction.  Pretty fancy!  Black sesame, wasabi, ginger, red bean avocado and garlic are flavors she’s also enjoyed.  According to Sagan, eating weird ice cream flavors is another way to ensure you don’t have to share.  Although, she encourages everyone to try them at least once!

Send this eCard today to a cake loving friend!

New eCard-Silent Star

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What is better than a present on your birthday? A compliment! In our newest eCard, Silent Star, you can let that special birthday lady know how cute they are. We got to talk with Colby Bluth about his process in making this eCard.

Have you seen any silent films? Do you have a favorite?

-I’ve mostly seen bits and pieces of silent films over the years on television. One of the few features I’ve seen in its entirety is Fritz Lang’s Metropolis, which is incredible. The ending to the Phantom of the Opera was spectacular as well. There is something special about those early silent films.

What tricks did you use to make the mirror reflection?

-No tricks really, but it was a lot of hard work. Everything was drawn the old fashioned way on paper, including her reflection in the mirror. First I animated the character in the foreground, then I had to match her movements in the mirror. This was the most difficult piece of animation I’ve ever attempted.

How long did this card take to animate?

- I think I worked on it for about a week and a half. I was also fortunate to work from my own animatic and select the audio track.

Did you watch anything to inspire this animation?

-Myself in the mirror channeling my inner flapper. Haha! I was also inspired by “The It Girl” Clara Bow and a little Louise Brooks maybe. I’m also a big fan of older cinema, so creating some traditional animation in black & white was a real pleasure.

Did you name the character?

-No, but I will now. Let’s call her Moxie.

Send this classy eCard to that special birthday lady today!

COOLHAUS Wagon Wednesday!

This Wagon Wednesday was super special for all of us JibJabbers because we received a visit from the amazing ice cream sandwich creators, COOLHAUS! We LOVE ice cream - it keeps us motivated while we create sweet eCards, like our Valentine’s Day collection.

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Like some of our other fun wagons, we had a chance to sample some of their famous flavors including a couple Vegan options.

Screen shot 2013-02-07 at 2.52.09 PMCheck out the COOLHAUS calendar or follow them on Twitter to find out where and when they will be in your area!

GIF OFF 5.0

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The time has come for our biannual GIF OFF to stir up a few inner office laughs! The GIF OFF is a week long animated GIF competition in which competitors create daily themed images. Each day we all vote to see which one is our favorite, and at the end of the week when all the points are tallied up, we have a winner who is dubbed the “King/Queen of GIF’s.” The winner will also receive a cake of their choosing by Ashlyn’s Cakes© and a trophy of some sort! Our themes this year are:

Monday: Poof!

Tuesday: Nic Cage

Wednesday: Love

Thursday: Misdirection

Friday: WILD CARD (anything goes!)

And though the competition just began…it is already heating up with hilarious GIFs!  Stay tuned for next week’s blog entry to see the winners.

New eCard – Classical Birthday

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In our newest eCard, Classical Birthday, you can help sing a sweet melody to that birthday someone who is getting OLD. Help remind them that getting old stinks and is a pain (in the back, knee and neck). We got to sit down with, Nate, an in house artist to find out a little about his fears of getting older.

1. How long did this card take to animate?

The card took about a week and a half to animate in Flash.  I was working from an animatic by the incredible Sean Rhodes, and with all the funny/strange bodily things happening I figured it would be better to go the hand-drawn route over animating in After Effects.  Drawing a dragging, bouncing butt is officially the strangest thing I’ve ever spent an entire day doing.

2. What is your biggest fear of growing older?

When I was a teenager I was terrified of going bald, but my dad and both grandfathers still have all their hair, so I’m probably doomed to be shaggy haired forever.

3.  How old are you? Have you noticed any signs of aging in yourself yet?

I turned 31 last year (that was painful to write), and so far the biggest thing I’ve noticed is I need a lot more sleep.  I used to be vehemently against naps, now I’m an addict.  Also I’m not as good at pulling all-nighters as I used to be, but thankfully that’s nothing a few cups of coffee won’t fix.

4.  Which is your favorite getting old stereotype? (mine is the driving slow, since I already do that)

The crankiness that you can get away with when you get older is pretty awesome.  I secretly can’t wait until I become elderly just so I can say anything I want and not get called on it.

Send this eCard today to that someone who is yet another year older and creakier.

Philip Vose Wins Hollywood Loopdeloop!

A couple weeks ago we asked you to submit your best loops for the first edition of the Loopdeloop animation challenge in the United States. We ended up receiving a whopping 58 submissions! Last night we held a screening of all the loops in the heart of Hollywood at Dim Mak Studios.

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Everyone had an amazing time and laughed along to each loop. There were plenty of crazy variations on the theme ‘Hollywood’, and a wonderful mix of animation styles! Our panel of celebrity judges (Weird Al YankovicDane BoedigheimerAlex Hirsch and  Jerry Beck) were in attendance and named the winner of the competition as Phillip Vose. Here is his loop:

We also voted for an audience favorite which was received by Peter Michail. Both were awarded a brand new iPad mini!

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The next theme is SPORTS – submit your animation today!

New eCard – Smiling Streaker

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In our newest eCard, Smiling Streaker, you can say Happy Birthday to that special someone and help to put a smile on their face, or wherever. We got to talk more with the animator, Marty Cooper, about this naughty eCard.

What kind of shoes do you imagine the streaker is wearing?

-This streaker is wearing a fly pair of baby blue hightop converse all-stars for optimal maneuverability when fleeing the scene.

Have you ever been streaking?

- I have never streaked myself. I worry about dogs chasing after me and biting my sensitive areas.

Have you ever seen a streaker out in the wild?

-I cannot remember ever seeing a streaker in the wild. I think they are pretty rare these days with all the tasers and pepper spray. I think it should be encouraged not enforced, sporting events would be much more exciting!

How long did this card take to animate?

- In total approximately 3 weeks. 1 week for designing the backgrounds and characters, 1 week of animation, and another week for tweaking the timing and finalizing it. It was hoot!! I hope the card puts a smile on your face… or wherever. Thanks JIBJAB!! I am going to go streak now.

Send this eCard to that frisky birthday someone today!

Beauty is Embarrassing

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Our team of artists, technologists and business people strive to be creative and innovative.  Recently, to gain inspiration we watched the documentary, Beauty is Embarrassing, a film about the creative path that Wayne White and his wife, Mimi Pond, have chosen to take in life.  The documentary follows Wayne through his trials and tribulations of doing what he loves for a living, art.

After viewing the film, Wayne and Mimi stopped by the office to have lunch and to talk with us. Wayne taught us that life is about doing what you love and that in return you will go where you want. We laughed, ate pizza and were in awe at the brilliant mind that brought us the set design for Pee Wee’s Playhouse and Beakman’s World. It was incredible to hear from the horses mouth that art can be a 24/7 lifestyle and that we aren’t (too) crazy to create for a living.

Check out the Wayne’s documentary either on Amazon or via his site to be inspired today.

New eCard-A Little Birdie Told Me

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In our newest eCard, A Little Birdie Told Me, we see what happens when one little bird gets a little too excited about a birthday. We spoke more with the director of eCards, Jeff, to find out about the artist and idea behind the card.

1) How did you come up with the concept for A Little Birdie Told Me?

This was an idea that was pitched by our writer Scott. I loved the idea of a card that used minimal SFX to help set the tone of the environment

2) What kind of drink do you imagine the man is drinking in the video?

Long Island Ice Tea.

3) Have you ever cooked anything on a rotisserie?

Haha, no! But now that you mention it, I should definitely add that to my list of things to do!

4) How do you feel about celebrating birthdays? Do you celebrate birth week or treat it as another day?

I know some people prefer to have other folks surprise them on their birthday with plans of things to do, but I personally like doing my own thing to make sure I spend the day doing exactly what I want. Sometimes it’s as simple as walking barefoot in the park, other times it’s a monthlong trip to Europe… guess it just depends on the year!

Say happy birthday to that special someone today and just blame it on the birds.

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