TV2 Christmas Bumpers

About the project

These award winning bumpers were my biggest project at Toxic, and a real defining project for me. It was the most ambitious project I'd done in my career at that point, and also the most satisfying.

Toxic had been doing bumpers for the norwegian television network TV2 for a couple of years, when we were asked to come up with something for their christmas bumpers. Originally we were to "upgrade" their previous bumpers, that had small people playing christmas gnomes. We were very keen on proving that we could to realistic looking 3D characters, so we pitched the idea of doing the bumpers through computer animation. TV2 were very sceptical at first, but some early tests gave them confidence in us, and we could start creating our "Nisse".

I am very interested in folklore and tradition, so this project was perfect for me. The bumpers features a traditional Norwegian mythological character called the "Nisse", who is something of middle thing between a gnome and an elf. He lives on farms in rural Norway and watches over the livestock and people living there. If you don't feed him properly, he will start misbehaving. I think this character is local to Scandinavia, although most old cultures have some kind of "house spirit" that needs to be respected.

The bumpers are very short (4-6 seconds), but we put as much work in it as possible in the time we had available. I thought it was vital that they had a rich textured feel to them, since a more clean look would counter the traditional style we were aiming for. I think the visual style turned out quite nice, they're almost illustrated in a way.

I was responsible for idea, direction and compositing.

These bumpers won gold in the prestigious Promax World competition.

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