The carefully orchestrated collection of Minor’s chocolate ingredients

Swiss chocolate company Minor wanted a fairy tale-like commercial for their product. Boutiq came up with the concept and storyboard and hired us to produce the films and tell the story of how Split, a squirrel, brings the nuts to the chocolate factory.


The Washing Line


Mike Huber





Pioneering hair rendering with the V-Ray renderer

During the project we had close contact with Chaosgroup, the developer of the V-Ray rendering engine. Producing high quality hair at the time usually went together with crazy render times and it wasn’t trivial to get high density hairs through the pipeline too. Together with Chaosgroup we continually pushed the latest nightly builds to the limits to raise the bar on what a production could achieve in fast turnarounds as required for commercial work.

The Chaosgroup team was so impressed of our work that afterwards it became the cover art for their V-Ray for Maya 3.4 release cycle.

Designing a real yet computer generated forest

Designing a magical yet realistic forest is a huge technical undertaking, but we’d know we would be able to adapt our pipeline quickly enough to take on the high polygon count as required for this project. We set up an optimized forest of proxies that we scatter together with additional forest bushes and detailing to get the amount of detail needed to produce a believable set.

We even set up a dust and bugs system that would produce an overlay of little simulated particles, flies and butterflies to create an extra level of detailing in the environment. This helped immensely to enhance the feeling of a magical forest.

Art directing a forest

This project required the environment to work in both very close situations and wider forest views. We had to art direct it in such a way that all elements kept the tactile realism while still upholding the magical mood of our world. We handcrafted the miniature detailing by manually sculpting all props that required close-ups. On a larger scope however we used our highly detailed sculpts and textures in a procedural manner to allow similar detailing on the tons of assets we produced for the different worlds.

The client stressed that they wanted a magical forest that could not be shot live-action.
That's what really set the goal to go beyond just making a full photoreal forest.
We had to make it a magical one with the right atmosphere.

Roy NieterauTechnical Director


We are trained animal specialists and know how to handle squirrels.
Shout out to our creature team!


Mike Huber – Boutiq


art director

Tom Hankins


technical director

Roy Nieterau

modeling / lookdev

Tom Hankins
Gijs van Kooten
Dewi de Bue
Wilrico Feenstra
Danny Vos



Martin Eneroth Johansson
Danny Vos

Groom / FX

Gijs van Kooten


lighing / rendering / compositing

Tom Hankins



Paul Shapera