Buck brings color (swatches) to Sherwin-Williams’ world

Update: Buck kindly created a making of video for Motionographer to break it down for yall. Also, I sat down with creative leads Orion Tait, Benjamin Langsfeld & Joshua Harvey and asked them a few questions about the project. Watch and learn.

Buck’s latest animation explores a world created by color swatches for paint manufacturer Sherwin-Williams. The first part of a bigger campaign, Buck plans to release two more spots to follow this, which according to creative director Orion Tait, has allowed “a bit more story-telling, which is a natural evolution for the campaign and has officially made this job an office favorite. We love working in the space where storytelling, design and animation meet.”

One of the things I dig the most about this animation is a technique they utilized to pull the spot off within the considerable time constraints they had. I asked Orion if the color grading for the spot was a nightmare since Sherwin-Williams would be considerably more picky then most client on the accuracy of their color choices (imagine color comments along the lines of, “this looks more like Husky Orange than Rave Red”..real names by the way). Orion told me that in order to relieve some of that pressure on the 3d end of the pipeline, Buck decided to render their scenes in grayscale and handle all the color and paint names completely in comp. Making for a much more interactive and controllable color correction experience for Buck.

This technique also accidentally lead to a more unique, illustrative look to the entire spot. A happy accident that creates a gray under-painting to the entire spot leaving it looking..well, more painted then most cg spots would otherwise.

Watch Paint Chips

Directed By: Buck
Production House: Buck NY
Creative Director: Orion Tait
Executive Producer: Kate Treacy
Producer: Kevin Hall
Lead Art Director: Ben Langsfeld
Art Director: Joshua Harvey
Design: Ben Langsfeld, Joshua Harvey
Storyboards: Pete McDonald
CG Supervisor: Joshua Harvey
3D Modeling: Arvid Volz, David Soto
3D Animation: Joshua Harvey, Pete Hamilton, Chris Hendryx, Arvid Volz
3D Character Animation: Jordan Blit
3D Rigging: Lee Wolland
3D Lighting/Shading: Kevin Couture, Lars Holmgren, Chris Hendryx, Hanwei Wu
Composite: Daniel Oeffinger, Conrad Ostwald, Joshua Harvey
Additional Design: Jon Gorman

Agency: McKinney
Producer: Josh Eggleston
GCD: Ellen Steinberg
Copywriter: Jenny Nicholson
Art Director: John Hagerty

Color Grade: Company 3
Colorist: Tim Masick

About the author

Jon Saunders

/ www.jonsaunders.tv
internet surfer/designer extraordinaire



Nice spot.. clean and fluid as usual.. don’t expect anything less of BUCK.

one flaw I did see, however..

In the reflection of the frog, as he jumps. It looks like that reflection is just the primitives used to rig and animate the frog.. not the actual underside of the frog model we see jumping.. must have been a small thing that slipped by them.


Good call on the primitives glitch, but yeah, amazing little spot, can’t wait to see what they do next with this concept.


The little touches, like the swatches being used as water splashes (when fish dives) and the rolling clouds… fucking awesome.


Ah. its just perfect. This is the kind of project you wish a client would walk in and ask you to execute: “make a stylized world entirely out of colorful paint chips”.
Not entirely unlike the similarly awesome request: “Make an entire world out of UPS carboard boxes”
yes, please.
nice work Buck, you guys did it beautifully. can’t wait to see the other spots.


anybody know how much time they had to complete this? looks amazing.

Ayhan Cebe

Great work!! and really well executed!.


Way to go Josh :D


Great spot! Any chance of more detailed information about making this (and the future) SW spots?

Matt Frodsham

That would be great. The greyscale render and colour in post is really interesting!

Jon Saunders

talking to the gents at Buck now to get some behind the scenes candy for all


Buck is rocking as always!


Delicious. Thanks Jon.

And kudos Buck!!!!!


Thanks for going the extra mile Jon! That’s such an interesting workflow; can’t wait to see the other spots.

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