ITV's The Games

TV Spot Animation

Whenever ITV approaches us we know we’ve got a fun project ahead of us. This time, it was some last minute pigeons! The ad had been in the works for a while at ITV, who had been working alongside Framestore with the intention of using stock footage of real pigeons. Unfortunately, as can often be the case with stock footage, they were struggling to get the exact actions they were after. On top of that, the real pigeons were lacking a little in the warmth and character departments.


This is where we were invited on board, tasked with designing and animating a pair of friendly city pigeons. We spent the first couple of days nailing the art style, followed by the specifics of the pigeon designs. We really wanted each of the pigeons to have their own unique look, partly because since we weren’t going to animate any lip-syncing (beak-syncing?) it was key that we could tell which pigeon was speaking at any time.

The design progression of our pigeon protagonists

The Animation Process

Next, we produced a rough animatic to get a sense of the pigeons’ actions throughout the ad. When it comes to jobs with tight turnarounds, it’s important to get as much as possbile signed off as early as possible. This saves redoing any finished animation, which takes much longer than amending an animatic!

With the animatic signed off, we moved on to rough animation. We went through shot by shot, getting the rough animation completed and signed off before moving on to the cleans. This allowed us to stagger our schedule, working on the roughs for the next shot while the previous one was with the client. Then, once each shot was signed off we would get straight on to the clean animation. This let us get through all of the design and animation for the ad in only around two weeks.

As usual, we had a great time working with the team at ITV and this project had the added bonus of being alongside the incomparable Framestore!


Client: ITV

Compositing: Framestore

Animation: Hannah Faye Johnson, Milda Kargaudaite