Five Portraits, Two Weeks

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We recently worked on a project with Ogilvy HK for LANDMARK shopping centre to create a promotional print and video campaign for their children’s arts programme Little Masters, aiming to inspire young children to discover their own artistic talents, in the hope of creating the next generation of art masters and art lovers.


This was part of the ‘Be Inspired in Central’ exhibition, in which LANDMARK is nurturing and inspiring creativity as well as an appreciation for art.


The brief was to create five separate portraits, each in a famous art movement style in order in which they developed historically – Baroque, Impressionism, Surrealism, Abstract and Contemporary as part of an online video campaign. 


These styles would then be painted in over footage of a young boy, who interacts with the brushstrokes as they tickle, poke and paint over him. Add to this five separate print portraits and a two-week turnaround time and you’re looking at the very project we completed just a few weeks ago.



The process behind a video campaign


Rembrandt_Video Campaign

We were approached by the team at Ogilvy with storyboards and a list of artists to replicate for each of the style. They would shoot the live action footage and perform a grade, and the rest was down to us.


Turning something around in such a short time frame, to such a high standard would pose a challenge to any animation studio. ‘Cutting corners’ by using stock paint transitions simply wasn’t going to cut it, and entire completed pieces of art needed to be designed.


Utilising a pool of talented and varied artists from around the world, we were able to find the right people to recreate each style. Bringing in the right expertise to add to our core team whatever the challenge, when requiring a particular style or skill.



Kooning_Video_CampaignWorking with a company based in Asia, we also maximise our time differences, organising calls, feedback sessions and uploads accordingly. By working efficiently to a tight schedule, we were able to send over clips at EOD our time, which they could then review and feedback on in time for us arriving in the office the very next day.


This meant that sticking to schedule was paramount, and feedback needed to be implemented quickly to ensure hitting milestones. Having new versions almost everyday to send to the client was essential and enabled by our internal rendering system, meaning we can complete work on fast turnaround projects such as this one without a reliance on a render farm or outsourcing the processing tasks.


Our workflow is based on the Agile model used in programming, meaning that we are flexible and responsive. By setting regular feedback points at milestones, we can be constantly changing and adjusting the animation for our clients’ needs. This flexibility ensures there’s always room for creativity and new ideas, building on concepts to really maximise the impact of the end result.




Keeping the animation light hearted, quirky and funny made it engaging for families. Playing on famous aspects, such as Magritte’s bowler hat and apple would also help the audience identify particular motifs to recognize each style. We also made sure to replicate all the details – down to the thickness of the brushstrokes and the material on which it was painted.


It was important to keep the “look” of the boy in the portraits, whilst still maintaining the correct aesthetic of the style to hint that these are his own creations to reiterate this is a chance for children to create.


At the end of the fortnight, we had created a video that we are really proud of, and the client was really happy with. It has since been viewed 55,000 times.





Engine House was fantastic. They met deadlines within an incredibly tight time frame. Their illustrations and animations were bang on – they got what we were trying to do from the outset. Also they were very receptive to feedback and turned around changes in a very short time”.


Stratos Efstathiou (Art Director) and Amy Thompson (Copywriter), Ogilvy & Mather Hong Kong
If you want to find out more about working with the team on your next project, give us a call!