Protected: Barbie

Case Study

The world of Barbie is vibrant, colorful, and filled with movement. It was time to celebrate all of these things in their new music video “Extra”. And celebrate we did.

Carbon’s partnership with Mattel resulted in this bright fully CG campaign and music video, inspired by Barbie’s style and infused with Barbie’s contemporary identity. Our design team created over forty fun films, all the way from teasers and unique doll videos to a very “Extra” music video.

We began by crafting storyboards and styleframes, then worked these looks into the choreographed dance routine, filmed live with professional dancers. This dance became the base edit for our video, and with thanks to editor James Dierx, our animation team was able to lay out the positions for each doll and previz the unique camera movements and shots around it.

Our biggest challenge, though also the most exciting element, was creating CG versions of the five Barbie characters from scratch, including accessories, pets, fur coats, and hair. The elements needed to match the real dolls, with the addition of blinking, eye movements and lip syncing.

Rigging the hair and clothing needed to include controls for manual posting and dynamic simulation. Each doll was rendered separately to enable overlap between simulation artists for shots containing multiple dolls, as well as memory utilization on the render farm. Together, we had more than 120 shots to assemble with iterate versions and tweaks. 

The dolls and their accessories live within environments that are bright, poppy, and the perfect showcase for the contemporary dance routine. We based our environment on our style frames, and then added our dance pop animation into each shot. As each shot was rendered, our 2D team crafted additional hand drawn animations and motion graphics to overlay onto the 3D renders, before being composited in After Effects. This pipeline allowed for us play with modeling, rigging of models/cloth/hair, and workflow through all stages of animation right up to simulation and lighting. 

We love the music video world we created. Mattel sure do know how to bring the “Extra” to Barbie!


  • Creative Director Mat Stevens
  • Executive Producer Matt McManus
  • Producer Lauryn Grimando
  • 3D Lead Sam Giersimcuzk
  • Desigenr/Modeler Ben Girdwood
  • Modeler Piotr Glabinski
  • Modeler Steven Browning
  • Rigger Martin Gunnarsson
  • Rigger/Animator Ohad Bracha
  • Animator Joshua Merck
  • Animator Alex Rumsa
  • Animator Katie Heady
  • Animator/Lighter Quin Barclay
  • Animator/Lighter -Sean Skube
  • 2D Animator Carolina Lopez
  • 2D Animator/Compositor Wes Kandal
  • Groom Supervisor Jesús Fernández
  • Mid Groom TD Muhammad Waseem
  • Junior Groom TF Marcelo Roberto Souza


  • Client Mattel
  • Creative Director Danielle Viale
  • Head of Video Production Lorraine Kraus
  • Sr. Writer Erin Foote
  • Art Director Yen Nguyen
  • Account Director Lisa Baca
  • Choreographer Richy Jackson
  • Sr. Manager Tenille Fonseca
  • S&P Associate Sonora Chase
  • Editorial Company Whitehouse Post
  • Editor James Dierx
  • Assistant Editor Nelson Mustain
  • Producer Jordan Stricklin