Jake Allen

Enjoy Illinois "Mini Abe"


For this spot, our team was asked to put Mini Abe inside of a football helmet and have him frantically run around a Big 10 field until he is freed by a kind samaritan. The far away shots are actually a helmet attached to an RC car (!) but the close up shots needed to be CG. My role was to take a 3D model of our helmet, rig it, and animate it with a miniature figure inside. This project was a blast to set up, and it was fun developing the "stumble" that Mini Abe would exhibit while stuck inside of his football gear.

Our team was asked to create some extra effects for the Illinois Office of Tourism's "Mini Abe" commercial. My role was to create the animated leaves at the beginning and many of the props for the final shot, including the Ferris Wheel and the animated Bald Eagle. There's also Illinois' only waterfall, in Starved Rock State Park, on the right in the final frame. Due to the time of year the waterfall had frozen, so I ended up simulating a quick waterfall in Realflow, rendering it using Krakatoa, and overlaying it on a still of the rock. All in all it was a super fun, goofy project to work on!


Director: Seth Henrikson
Producer: Alec Pinkston
ditor: Chris Shegich
Animators: Seth Henrikson, Greg Hinchman
3D Artists: Jake Allen, Alex Moed
Motion Graphics: Jake Allen, Chris Hooker, Jesse Randall