Witness Protection is a commercial for the brand Lysol, featuring a regretful bacteria.

The technique used here is a mix of a puppet for the body, with CGI limbs and facial features animated in post.

That brought the challenge of properly blending the two worlds and making them work together as an organic whole. When facing this I paid attention to the shakes and twitches that the puppet naturally has, in order to give them purpose and turning them into part of the animation. Also making the character interact with his environment helps to blend the CGI even better, like when he uses the couch as leverage around 0:26. Lastly, the animation also had to be limited and clunky at times, since a too complex or to cartoony style would have immediately pop up and look odd around the puppet main body. Again, blending was the key.

Sometimes it’s not about the complexity of the animation. In fact, over-animating is a real issue. In this case, with a simple character and with most of the humor based in the dialogue, the animation should be subtle and not trying to steal the spot. Instead, it should be used as a tool to build the world of the character and make it believable and relatable.

Studio credits: Tronco