A folk-singing canary has an important message about carbon monoxide

Tommy McAnairey, a guitar-strumming descendent of literal canaries from the coal mines, warns of carbon monoxide poisoning in this beautifully rendered PSA from Irish studio Piranha Bar.

Making of

From Piranha Bar Creative Director Gavin Kelly:

Things got very technical as the studio embarked on creating the feathers for the character – a challenging mix of defined feather structures and fine downy hair. 300,000 hairs grew over feathers which are fitted carefully around his face. Advanced digital puppet rigging gave the animators fine control over the wing feathers so ‘Tommy’ could pluck convincingly on his banjo.


Lighting and rendering the spot (all 1000 frames) was a massive undertaking, with each frame ringing in at over 5 hours of computer time each. That’s 5000 hours by the way. Let’s call it 200 days for convenience, even though there’s really nothing convenient about that figure.


Director: Gavin Kelly
Producer: Lorraine Geoghegan
Lead 3D & Character Design: Simon Burke
Lead Animator: Sam Boyd
3D Grooming: Mario Domingos
Composite: Gavin Kelly
Initial Character Design Ian Benjamin Kenny
Agency: Rothco
Creative Director: Shay Madden
Copywriter: John McMahon
Agency Producer: Jessica Derby
Sound: Mutiny
Music & Vocals: Paul Woodfull

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About the author

Justin Cone

/ justincone.com
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.