The open-ended, life-mimicking video game Animal Crossing is very special to artist couple Reed + Rader. In fact, they’ve been playing the game together since they met almost 10 years ago. Needless to say, an Animal Crossing GIF shoot has been high on their list of passion projects over the past few years, and two weeks ago they finally made it a reality. This Tuesday we premiered the playful fruits of that labor.
They brought in their usual stylist Aki Maesato to make the oversized, boxy costumes, each one inspired by different characters and outfits in the game.
Reed + Rader built and painted the papier-mâché heads using a beach ball for a model, and suspended hard hats inside for support. The faces were composed in Illustrator, printed out, and traced onto the heads. Brother, one of Reed + Rader’s four cats, lounges in the background.
Their friends, Sarah Grant and Don Miller, BIG fans of the game and a couple as well, agreed to pose for the shots.
Reed + Rader sketched out everything beforehand, and said every shot was pretty much carried out as planned, except for an additional fishing shot that was cut from the final GIF.
After the photo shoot, Reed + Rader started composing their own Animal Crossing worlds. They scanned in paper textures and digitally collaged the backgrounds using Photoshop and After Effects, before importing in the animations.
Be sure to check out the final GIF series here!
All photos courtesy of Reed + Rader.