Sephora Goes Tokidoki


Beauty retail giant Sephora recently employed The Molecule’s unique array of 3D talents to help create their first ever commercial spot. The leading make-up retailer recently partnered with Japanese-inspired lifestyle brand Tokidoki to bring their colorful and unique designs to the world of make-up. Created by Italian designer Simone Legno in 2005 Tokidoki’s popular designs have been on toys, clothing, and accessories.

Brought in by Producer Matthew Achterberg and teamed with director Labour and Greencard Pictures, The Molecule was tasked with creating a world where animated Tokidoki characters would interact with live Sephora shoppers.

Shot on RED, this shoot provided challenges which ranged from appropriating a landscape with enough information to properly composite the hosts, to making sure there was enough 3D tracking information to accommodate the plethora of camera moves. Careful planning and generous use of tracking lights eased these concerns.

The majority of our work in post concerned the actual animation of the Tokidoki characters. All 3D tracking was done using Boujou, and all of the animation as well as texturing was done in Maya. The texturing was created via a “toon” shader that we manipulated to get the proper thickness for edge lines and shadows. Animation of the character’s movement and facial characteristics furthered the illusion of a world where shoppers and Tokidoki characters could interact.

The 3D renders were composited into the live action footage using Nuke. Some final color correcting finished the job to create a sleek ad campaign.