Sunny and Gerd


Sunny & Gerd ‘Spring Cleaning,’ – Things go from zero to “wha’-tha’?!” when Sunny finds himself in a tight spot and Gerd has to rescue his little buddy.

Watch full film at

I was contacted by DaCosta to help out on the motion graphic stuff for his short film project, Sunny and Gerd. *Shout out to Aaron Kambeitz for the kind referral.* I came on board with the awesome guys at Amazon Web Services (AWS) – Nimble Studio, formerly known as Nimble Collective. My main task is to design and animate the screen interface that Gerd interacts with. DaCosta pretty much knew from the start what he wanted but they were still rough concept ideas, I helped with the ideas that he had originally and polishing/tweaking to make them workable in the production phase.

Written + Director: DaCosta Bayley

Motion Graphic Designer: Jonathan Lai

– List of full credits in the film –


My main duty was to design and animate the interface. I have collaborated with wonderful character animators on the team. It was a great learning experience for me to be able to work with the animators to understand the workflow that is needed for this to sync up. I had to quickly lock down on the design for the primary buttons so that the animators could have placeholders to work with.


The challenge was to keep it minimal yet technical. Animation + transition had to look snappy, smart, and functional to match with Gerd’s characteristic. It had to hold on it’s own as it had quite a lot of screen time within the film. When approaching the design, we needed to develop a visual language that would fit within the world and as an extension of the character. The color was kept neutral mostly white and only had color when displaying important action. We didn’t want it to be overwhelming so it would take away the focus of Gerd. I brainstormed a lot with DaCosta making sure it felt right, in terms of the consistency with the line weight and readability. Making the fantasy believable in the world.


The priority at the start was figuring out how to work with the guys that are using Blender for their 3D pipeline. I had made these screen models inside Cinema 4D and exported to them as obj and have the guys there setup their camera inside Blender and basically worked from there. Passing their camera data using fbx so I can use it as reference point for when Gerd is interacting on the screen. I used Illustrator to design the asset and After Effects to animate the individual components, timing them to Gerd’s animation.

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