The JibJab Blog

Stick Your Face In It!

The Grand Finale!

We always aim for a big ending but we knew coming out of this piece it would have to be epic!  Given the storyline it didn’t necessarily lend itself to a “gag” ending and there had been so much amazing art, animation and design created that to do anything less than a monumental shot would have been to miss the mark. We took our inspiration from slew of superhero movies that have come out over the past few years and set to work. We knew we wanted to do a big sweeping 3D shot that whipped around the Capitol and ended with a sunset and our original pencil test looked like this…

Once we had the concept and the timing in place, we turned to the team to make it beautiful.  We don’t use 3D software very often and we are VERY cautious when do.  We never want to try and be something more than we are and it’s easy to get carried away with technology so this painting helped set the feel if the piece and gave us something to aim for…


With “the look” in place we set about building the model and testing a few camera moves.  Here’s two passes to show how the piece evolved…

And now comes the fun part!  We knew that we didn’t want some hokey 3D character in there mucking up our beautiful shot so we had always planned to film the character in live-action and composite him on top of the building.  We love jimmy-rigging work with whatever is laying around the studio so in this case we took the arms off a regular spinny, office chair and slapped a board on top of it.  Ian crawled into the Obama suit and jumped up on the chair.  Lauren lied down under the chair to spin it around and as she spun him Devin walked around the two of them with a light.  While it looks pretty silly in this video out take we think Alan did an awesome job comping him into the movie…

The last piece of the puzzle before the final composite was the shimmering flag.  We used the same trick with the chair but this time Maureen spun the flag, Mike and Alan walked around with the light (in order to stay low) and Kevin had to follow 180 degrees behind them with a big fan.

Again, our methods may be pretty silly and somewhat lo-fi but in the hands of great artists we can make just about anything work!  Check out how it all came together…


5 responses to “The Grand Finale!”

  1. Awesome. Its mind-blowing enough that you can bring together all that software but what I really appreciate in any type of production is how creative people can ‘jerryrig’ simple solutions where its necessary.

  2. Hi! fantastic work as always guys! just a couple of questions, what 3d software did you use for the big finale, and is there any problems obtaining rights to use the Obama photos for his facial expresions? Thanks

  3. So that’s how you got it to look so real…

    Did you have to animate his face for the Pirates Scene?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: