How Character Animation Takes an Inanimate Object and Makes it Exciting!
Who says manufacturing has to be boring??
Norgren Automation Solutions, of IMI Precision Engineering, in Saline, Michigan wanted to promote their new line of grippers (For the layman, “A gripper is a device attached to a robot which enables the holding of an object to be manipulated.” See this link for more info.) The marketing team at IMI had already cleverly been promoting their PGS grippers in tandem with their company mascot, Filbert the squirrel. The grippers, which conveniently look like boxing gloves, enable Filbert to become a world boxing champion! Playing off this existing theme, Kohlitz created an exciting, character animation with Filbert, the PGS grippers and the formidable competition, Grumpy Goliath! If you haven’t already seen the animation, watch it now to see who comes
out on top! Hint: the squirrel with the better grippers/gloves
Creating the Character Animation
As mentioned above, the IMI marketing team was already promoting this “World Squirrelweight Championship Title” match when they came to Kohlitz to actually depict this story for real! Using the provided poster for reference, Kohlitz created all graphics from scratch to match the existing style they had already adopted. IMI provided the script (notice how the weight and height of Filbert is the same as the actual PGS gripper?) and voice talent from their own pool of employees. That’s right, all voices are IMI employees! Filbert’s squeaky voice? That’s Tiffany Cole from Shipping and Receiving. The ring announcer? Dan Kersey, an Applications Designer. (See the other voice talent credits below.) Kohlitz recorded the talent at IMI’s Saline offices and teamed up with the talented David Fienup of Soundopolis to create the sound effect heavy sound track. Kohlitz then created the character animation which was displayed to the entire Michigan IMI precision team on June 21st, 2017.
Producer & Director // IMI Precision Engineering – Nicole Villacorta and Jad Khattab
Illustration & Animation // Kohlitz
Scriptwriter // IMI Precision Engineering – Nicole Villacorta and Jad Khattab
Sound Effects & Sound Mixing // David Fienup – Soundopolis
Voice Talents (all of IMI Precision Engineering)
Ring Side Announcer & Commentator 2 // Daniel Kersey (open to other voice talent gigs!)
Goliath the Squirrel // Tom Ender
Filbert the Squirrel // Tiffany Cole
Tv Spokesman // Richard Hamann
Commentator 1 // Dillon Navarre
Crowd Cheering, Booking & Chanting // IMI Precision Engineering employees
Boxing Ring Announcer: Goliath has done it!
Boxing Ring Announcer: He is the new reigning ultimate squirrelweight championof the world
Goliath: I am ready for my next challenger.
Filbert: IM GONNA LOSE! After all that training I’m just an average squirrel.
TV Spokesman: Are you feeling slow? Weak? And heavy?
TV Spokesman: We have the ultimate solution to get you stronger and faster in just 5 short days.
TV Spokesman: NOW that’s engineering great.
Filbert: I’m ready
Boxing Ring Announcer: Welcome to the Ultimate Squirrelweight Championship
Boxing Ring Announcer: In this corner, weighing in at 3 pounds, measuring 10 inches tall. The reigning USC champion, Grumpy GOLIATH!
Boxing Ring Announcer: And in this corner, weighing 1 and 1/2 pounds, measuring 5 inches tall, native Michigander, Fearless FILBERT!
Commentator 1: WOW! Do you see that actuation speed?
Commentator 2: That’s a lot of strength in such a small package!
Commentator 2: Filbert, Filbert comes out swinging!
Commentator 2: Filbert! Filbert, with the knockout!