For Spotify's 2019 Premium campaign, Cabeza Patata was commissioned to create a series of videos and illustrations on the theme of the ever-changing moods of music and how it can help shape our feelings.
Studio founders Katie Menzies and Abel Reverter went through various iterations of clothing and style to create an easily-identifiable, modern, gender-neutral character with no specific age or race which would work in Spotify's 72 markets.
Each character has custom clothing and textile patterns which give them a clear personality and emphasise the mood of the overall video. The highly detailed and realistic clothing and accessories stand in contrast against a simplified background.
"We use only key elements and abstract shapes to create a non-specific and, at times, dream-like world," explains Katie. "We wanted the 3D characters to look like real puppets so that, when mixed with realistic effects, such as smoke, clouds and lights, the final result confuses the line between the real and digital worlds."
The animation is inspired by traditional frame-by-frame techniques, for the most part, to give an almost stop motion feel. "As we always do, we started with simple 2D sketches to plan each mood. We include clothing references, key positions which show the feeling, and colour palettes to have a broad range through the set," Katie tells Creative Boom.
"Once we’d all agreed on the final look and feel of each video we created two still images for each. Whilst we worked on these styles to decide the exact clothing, lighting and colours, the animators worked their magic making the characters move. One of the challenges of our process is that the characters are animated without clothing and this is simulated later once the animation is locked."
The depicted moods include happy, excited, confident and empowered. Do they have a favourite? "For us, the idea of the campaign – the way we feel the music – is best represented in the Energetic video. The character’s inner light is shining and they’re dancing like no-one’s watching, covering all the space they can across the screen," says Katie.
The campaign went live in June to 72 markets around the world and was featured in 68 languages. Discover more of Cabeza Patata's work at cabezapatata.com.