Exclusive: NOMINT co-founder raises funds for GOSH by making the World’s first animated COVID mask

Yannis Konstantinidis with the masks

2020 was a challenging year for people across the globe with a new virus (SARS-CoV-19) bringing the world to a new standstill and cope with the ‘new normal’. The COVID-19 pandemic witnessed 2.43 mn deaths worldwide and to contain the spread, masks have become a necessary item in our daily lives now. 

By Henrique Barone

London-based animation company, NOMINT, along with some of the best animators from different places have created the ‘World’s First Animated COVID Mask’ to support the London based Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH), a children’s hospital that treats very complex and serious illnesses. It’s part of the National Health Service and needs to raise 100 mn pounds every year to stay alive and continuous groundbreaking research that not only helps children in the UK but across the world. Due to the pandemic, they had a difficult time to raise funds and are trailing behind, hence NOMINT co-founder Yannis Konstantinidis is selling these 400 masks to help GOSH.

NOMINT is an award winning animation production company delivering an international roster of top creative talent to the world’s leading agencies and brands.

Animation Xpress had the pleasure of speaking to Konstantinidis on his noble cause, and we salute him for making a difference in these times of turmoil. Read on:

Firstly, shout out for the noble cause. What inspired you to create such an innovative concept of animating the masks?
By Giant Ant

Thank you. I was very interested in exploring how I could use the facemask, a weird new staple of modern life, which has many negative associations, as a canvas to create something positive and meaningful. Raising money for a charity like a children hospital such as GOSH which has been greatly affected by the COVID crisis felt like a wonderful cause. 

What software did you use for animating and filming the masks?

To film the masks I used the stop motion software Dragonframe. For the animation on the masks the participating directors used all sorts of software such as Procreate, Photoshop, Animate and After Effects.

By Rafael Varona
Please take us through the process of conceptualisation to execution in animation in brief. 

Initially I ran a series of tests to see if the idea could work. I designed a series of keyframes on disposable masks and photographed to see if the concept made any sense. Originally I wanted to film the masks as they were worn on people but this proved very difficult to capture in stop-motion so I decided to shoot them on a flat surface instead. (You can see a small example of that original idea in the video the masks worn by my daughter)

Then I reached out to the directors and animation studios that I thought would participate and thankfully most of them were excited to be part of the project. Once they sent me the designs I printed out the 400 frames on fabric and created the masks which I then shot in stop-motion. And yeah, my kids also helped me. (smiles)

By Ori Toor
Tell us about the animators and studios who helped you in this project from across the world. 

I got help from Giant Ant, Ori Toor, Henrique Barone, Clim Studio, Rafael Varona and Dario Imbrogno. These studios and animators are some of my favourites in the world so I couldn’t be happier. I have worked with most of them through my production company NOMINT and I knew that they were perfect and a pleasure to work with. Some of them sent me animations they had done in the past and some of them animations that they created just for the project. This project couldn’t have happened without them. I’m really thankful to them.

How much have you raised till now by selling the masks for GOSH?

We have raised around 5,000 USD till date.

What’s upcoming for NOMINT’s?

NOMINT directors are busy with many upcoming commercial projects. We also have a few projects underway of “world’s first animated COVID mask” which you will be able to see soon at the Yannis & Friends YouTube channel. The next project revolves around the trial and tribulations of trying to animate using ice! This is possibly the most challenging project I have ever been involved with.

Watch the full video here:

By Clim Studio