British Gas ‘Explorer Penguin’

We’ve been busy of late creating the adventurous and delightful penguin featuring in the latest British Gas Installation and Home Service films.

Director Michael Arnold of Fresh Film was briefed by Ogilvy One to shoot the spots, which feature a British Gas Engineer with a view to incorporating the cheeky penguin character, Wilbur.

The penguin explorer has featured recently in the British Gas ‘Planet Home” series of commercials. In this instance the Installation and Home Service divisions are being promoted, which are created by Ogilvy One.

An animated penguin within an animated world looks very different to one that exists in a shot environment. So, the new Wilbur required new animation, texturing and lighting to enable him to interact perfectly within a live action space.

Fresh Film and Ogilvy One worked closely with us and our VFX team in developing its characteristics and feel. In turn we worked in collaboration the VFX team at Digital Golem to bring Wilbur to life.

Hani, alongside our Head of CG, Richard Nelson, were involved from the offset and attended Arnold’s shoot. Once back in the studio work commenced on taking the original penguin model and re-jigging the animation. Close attention was paid to retexturing and lighting the new character to enable him to sit seamlessly within Fresh Film’s footage. Hani was able to commence compositing as the new animated sequences evolved.

The whole process was a collaborative affair, which has resulted in a series of films that reflect the skills of all those involved. We are proud to have created charming spots, which will no doubt be a hit with all those that view Wilbur, the explorer penguin.

  • Client: British Gas
  • Agency: OgilvyOne
  • Creative Director: Rod Broomfield
  • Senior Art Director: Neal Williamson
  • Agency Producer: Alison Cooper
  • Production Company: Fresh Film
  • Director: Michael Arnold
  • Producer: Richard Carter-Hounslow
  • Post Production: Filament Post
  • VFX team: Filament Post and Digital Golem
  • VFX Supervisors: Hani AlYousif and Richard Nelson
  • Post Producer: Pippa Halfnight