Our friends at the Minnesota Waste Wise Foundation have a single mission: to help businesses save money and the environment (at the same time!)
While everyone here at Upswing is all-in on the three Rs — Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle — we’ve learned a ton about how recycling works (not-so-fun fact: black plastics aren’t recyclable because the optical sensors on the machines at the processing facilities don’t recognize them on the conveyor belts). As it turns out, we all still have a lot to learn.
Waste Wise, with support from the Minnesota Beverage Association and the American Beverage Association for a Healthy America, asked us to help create a video that teaches viewers what happens to a container when its useful life is over.
Today, we invite you to join us as we pull back the curtain on how this project came together! Pro tip (we’ve always wanted to say “pro tip”): Make sure to watch the video at the bottom of this page to see how this video evolved from sketches to a soon-to-be award-winning animation.
Pretty early on, we decided this plea to recycle might be best received if it came directly from someone directly affected: a #2 plastic bottle. And not just any #2 plastic bottle, but a cowboy bottle named Pete (inspired by the PolyEthylene Terephthalate he’s made from)!
After that, our awesome team went to work, starting to write the script, while at the same time developing both 2D and 3D versions of Pete.
Pete Grows Up
Once the Waste Wise folks decided to go the 3D route, we built out Pete’s personality with a character profile (check out those mustaches!) and created a moodboard.
With colors, voice, bushy eyebrows, and plastic-bottle-cap-turned-cowboy-hat locked in, our design team laid out a moodboard/storyboard to go with the script.
Pete Gets to Work
At this point, our writing and design team handed things off to our animator and sound engineer. They began the meticulous task of bringing Pete to 3D life: first, with an animatic, then a pre-visual draft, a second pre-vis, and then the final — complete with Pete’s final voice, sound effects, and sound design.
As promised, here’s a video showing Pete’s metamorphosis. If you’d like a 3D cowboy plastic bottle of your very own (or some other less Western-themed 3D video), let us know!