Mr Special - Fred & Eric - Heartwarming Stopframe Animation

Mr Special

This stopframe short has it all: a dramatic opening, an unlikely friendship, a glowing heart and a fully functional mini umbrella!

Mr Special was created by Maggie Rogers (F&E’s creative director) as a personal project. The story was inspired by the idea of creating a heart-shaped character who glows when he's happy. The addition of his umbrella led to the story's narrative where we see Mr Special turning a sad and lonely situation into one of warmth and hope.

Mr Special
Mr Special and his umbrella

Mr Special is a 30cm high furry model with a wire armature. He has a little pouch in his back for a light. Using a dimmer, this allowed his glowing body to be animated in-camera.

Mr Special was animated at 12 frames per second and shot against a green screen. This enabled his performance to be keyed and placed within a CG forest setting in After Effects. Once in his new home, scenes were brought to life with atmospheric lighting and layered effects to form a rich cinematic environment. The addition of his (soon to be) little creature friend completed the narrative hook that leads to the film's cosy conclusion.

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