This new spot for Coca Cola is not just a walk in the park for a dog and his owner.

Directed by Todd Mueller and Kylie Matulick, Man and Dog is an animated delight from Psyop, devised in collaboration with ad agency Wieden+Kennedy.

It features the perambulations of a bored dog-owner and his canine companion, who sees the world in a very different way. The owner's outlook is changed however, after a chance encounter with a drinks machine - and becoming the recipeint of what appears to be a free bottle of Coke.

The inspiration for the ad was the mysterious interior of a dog's imagination.

"Dogs have the curious, imaginative minds of a six year old–specifically mine–who thinks every stick is Excalibur, every bit of string is a lightning whip,” said Kylie Matulick. “Dogs don’t see a heap of two-week old laundry; they see a castle ready to be defended, then napped in. Where we see a cumbersome vacuum cleaner, they see an alien robot loudly singing its home planet’s anthem. At least that’s what my six year old told me.”

“We wanted this film to be genuinely drawn by hand, like classic 2D animation we grew up with, but with more depth and dimension”.

“It’s nostalgic but new, it shows love and focus, it’s crafted but nicely flawed, we wanted it to have a truly original look that only exists in this moment.”

Throughout the film, the perspective shifts back and forth between man and dog, each view standing out stylistically from the other. The team achieved this by approaching both from different angles not only visually but technically.

“To truly appreciate the unique feeling of looking at the world through a dog’s eyes, we had to make sure that his moments really set themselves apart from the rest of the spot,” Kylie explained. “To achieve this, we did as much as we could to shift the feeling of the moment, from unique camera moves, the look and sound of the action. Things become brighter, more fanciful, and it’s clear that you’re seeing things in a new way.”

“We wanted this film to be genuinely drawn by hand, like classic 2D animation we grew up with, but with more depth and dimension”.

“It’s nostalgic but new, it shows love and focus, it’s crafted but nicely flawed, we wanted it to have a truly original look that only exists in this moment.”

Throughout the film, the perspective shifts back and forth between man and dog, each view standing out stylistically from the other.

The team achieved this by approaching both from different angles not only visually but technically.

“To truly appreciate the unique feeling of looking at the world through a dog’s eyes, we had to make sure that his moments really set themselves apart from the rest of the spot,” Matulick explained. “To achieve this, we did as much as we could to shift the feeling of the moment, from unique camera moves, the look and sound of the action. Things become brighter, more fanciful, and it’s clear that you’re seeing things in a new way.”

Environments were comprised of digital matte paintings that were first painted in Photoshop on layers and eventually broken up onto cards and projected across 3D geometry, using both Maya and Nuke.

This hybrid 2D/3D look was particularly important for establishing the dog’s unique POV, which drives the fun spirit of the spot.

Objects seen in this perspective needed to be created in 3D, including pieces of the environment as well as additional characters that the dog encounters, such as the motorcycle-riding squirrels.

Casting the right man and dog for the spot was very important, and was a process that saw the creation of dozens upon dozens of different canines and their potential owners before landing on the final look from character designer Lois van Baarle.

Character designs were then brought to Duncan Studio, which collaborated with Psyop on the 2D portion of the film, from rough sketches and blocking down to inked and painted final cels.

In addition to the characters being hand-drawn, colours, shadows, and highlights were also added in the final hand-drawn animation phase. Animators at both Duncan Studios and Psyop added effects, color trails, smoke, dust, and more, all in 2D.

The final step was the compositing stage, where Psyop’s artists integrated the 3D renders with 2D animation, and laid them both out together among the film’s painted environments.