Bunny Power

French studio Digital District completed the animation for ‘Bunny Fusion’, a Duracell Ultra spot directed by Pleix via Ogilvy Paris. In the spot, hoards of Duracell bunnies launch themselves in massive numers as a waterfall then morph into a tornado, sumo wrestler, elephant and finally a steaming train.

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to watch the video of the spot 9 Meg

Welcome to the new face of Duracell, the fully CG bunny, – lots of them, using realflow and Vray.

blocking and animation of the shape

Digital District looked to early designs and storyboards and then created a rough animatic over a month to determine the spot’s key shots. Modelling and animation of the rabbits was carried out in Autodesk 3ds Max. Up to 40 rabbits were individually keyframed in the initial shots and others where the camera is close on faces, like on the train.

Thinking Particles Tree

The larger crowd shots and the transitions were accomplished with ThinkingParticles , a rule-based particle system for 3ds Max. Completing these enormous shots involved an iterative approach. “We started with some simple shapes,” recalled Digital District executive producer David Danesi, “and then worked on the transitions. Little by little we added some rabbits.”

final shot

Using ThinkingParticles, artists at Digital District could control the behaviour of the bunnies as they go from the waterfall to tornado and then to the sumo wrestler. “ThinkingParticles is a node tool like Houdini or Shake,” said Digital District head of 3D Thomas Marqué. “For example, for the sumo you have a node called Bring-To which allows a particle to go from an object to another object. In between we add some forces like turbulence and things like that.”

Bunny Power

As the rabbits form complex shapes like the swirling tornado, their numbers become closer to 300,000. Next Limit’s RealFlow was also used to create the initial waterfall swirl of rabbits. Rendering was done using VRay.

Ultimately, the spot brought a new look for the familiar Duracell character. “This was almost the first time Duracell had used a completely CG rabbit,” said Danesi. “Before that they had relied on a puppet or animatronic rabbit for their commercials.”

Digital District credits

Lead 3D / SFX: Jean Lamoureux
Modeling: Jimmy Cavé
Lead Animation Camera: Patrick Daher
Animation: Romuald Caudrois, Eric Moisson
SFX: Marc-Thomas Cavé, Julien Fabbris
Lead Texturing Lighting: Nicolas Belin
Texturing: Nicolas Vion
R&D SFX: Thomas Marqué
Compositing: Christophe Richard
Compositing assistant: Amandine Moulinet
Post coordinator: Alexis Vieil
Planning: Laurence Pullinger