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‘Mama Rocks’ is a web documentary that follows the story of 2 young sister entrepreneurs who already have a successful Food Truck business in Nairobi and who are expanding to a permanent restaurant location. We follow their challenges and successes.

In designing the intro, it had to fit into a few categories; It had to resonate with the urban youth and lifestyle, it had to feel dynamic and move like the ‘hussle’ of Nairobi, whilst still maintaining the look and feel of MamaRocks.

I wanted a graphic feel, similar to the graphics & paper wrapping that they use on their burgers which do have a real unique look. This paper feel seemed to harken me back to the newspaper that wrapped ‘Fish & Chips’ back when I was a boy.

We started with some fun candid picture of the girls to get some fun looks of them, I tried a few graphic looks before I settled on the halftone/paper feeling. In the final intro, we even used crumpling and tearing noises from the actual Mama Rocks paper wrapping.

The Wrapping: The wrapping & presentation of the burgers is something the girls really put their ‘look’ into. It’s a combination and a celebration of different famous African musicians & celebrities, and is really the ‘Mama Rocks’ look. So I incorporated this along with a crumpled paper look, together with various coloured hues that the girls used on the side of their truck.

The Truck: With reference pictures of their iconic truck, I made a 3D model with the same shape and created the van shape to mach, and then ‘wrapped’ their graphic around the truck to give it the same look and feel. This truck was used in the intro, but is also used as a transition within the show. I plan to use it in various way for later series.

I also made a ‘zoom’ version of their graphic and logo as an alternate transition.

The whole piece is carried by a VO from the girls, alternating between Natalie and Samantha who describe what they do and the goal of opening their resteraunt. Visually we see a burger being made. I’ve done 3D food before over the years, and this time I used a 3D scanner to capture all the various layers. However, due to time restraints I used 2D photo layers of a burger instead. I also forgot to put tomatoes in there, something my partner Tilo reminds me of every time we have a new episode. 🙂

The completed burger is then wrapped with CG wrapping paper made to look similar to their existing burgers.

The VO continues and explains that their burgers are sold all over Nairobi from our food truck. For this I animated the 3D truck in an arc from right to left, and in its wake the skyline of Nairobi is visibly expanding behind it. I decided to keep this quite a simple and clean as to not lean too far as to make it look like smoke or dust or fumes coming out the back of the truck – not the best look with food in the picture.

Now we get to the final part, “Join us as we open our new resteraunt.”

For this section I wanted to show the restaurant as a planned design,  as during the filming the actual location wasn’t in any way finished, and didn’t look presentable on video. So, I listened to the description from the builder (they had no drawings or plans or layouts of any kind), and I built a 3D scene of the various parts as I thought they would be laid out. The girls gave me some guidance along the way. This was made long before the physical reality was completed.

I rendered a few angles – the side view, top view and a perspective view, and used a shader that gave me a wireframe/architectural kind of look. I then took these renders and popped them into photoshop and made what looked like a traditional printed architectural drawing that you’d receive from a designer/developer. These have a distincive blue look, the effect you get from an ammonia printer.

Lastly, I added a few lines, arrows and notes for realism. As the camera pushes in, the paprer fully un-curls and we see a coloured render of the location…. and the truck wipes us out of the intro.

Overall I feel that this achieved its goals – It’s a fast moving, quickly informative intro. It explains who they are and what they do, and what you’re going to be watching.