Not To Scale/Ubik: “Bubbles”

London-based production company Not To Scale and director Ubik mustered their talents for agency BMB and discount hotel booking service in “Bubbles.” The :30 advert presents the world’s vacation destinations as microcosmic scenes contained in bubbles that drift lazily through a sun-drenched kitchen.

The soft lighting, stylized modeling and texturing of the CG elements and cheery soundtrack all combine for a subtly nostalgic effect, channeling just the right mixture of whimsy and wonder.

We caught up with Not To Scale for a little behind-the-scenes info and backstory on the project. Check it out here.

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About the author

Justin Cone

Together with Carlos El Asmar, Justin co-founded Motionographer, F5 and The Motion Awards. He currently lives in Austin, Texas with is wife, son and fluffball of a dog. Before taking on Motionographer full-time, Justin worked in various capacities at Psyop, NBC-Universal, Apple, Adobe and SCAD.



This is brilliant! I loved 3650 – and this has very much the same kind of feel, but I guess this ones a little more jovial..

The refractions of the live action in the bubbles is just incredible – I wonder how they achieved such a seamless result?

Igor Sordokhonov

Igor Sordokhonov

thanks for your reply Ubik!
i’ve just thumbed down my own comment heh


heh, no worries. glassworks were great and did a fine job with the comp so deserve a bit of linkage. ;)


Hello, thanks for the comments.
To answer your question, we created all the 3d elements in house at not to scale. The refraction passes were made by projecting the live action plates in the background of the 3d scene so the refraction pass was actually giving us true refractions of the plate through the 3d bubbles. The contents of the bubbles were also being refracted which caused a bit of a headache when rendering matte passes as they all had to be refracted also to match the offset caused by refraction.
That said, we did have some issue with layers in the last two shots and had to fake the refractions a bit which was done very well in flame over at glassworks.


love it. went through the quicktime frame by frame, theres so much to discover in each one of them.


This is cool guys. I know they already talked about him in another article, but Keith Loutit would’ve also been a good option for you – imagine if the stuff in the bubble was real!


Oh crikey, this is lovely!! Well done Nick and Steve. What a joy to watch over and over!

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