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Hot Spots Showcase 7: The Best in Animated & VFX Commercials

For the seventh year, AWN's Rick DeMott puts together a collection of the best commercials and music videos from the past year submitted by readers.

AWN's Hot Spots Showcase is now seven years old. We take submissions from our readers and bring the best to you... our readers. His collection of spots and music videos represents the cutting-edge in the field. Stay tuned and enjoy.

Travelers Drifters

a52"Beginning with the shoot and continuing throughout the entire process, Scott O'Leary, Kate Talbott and I were fortunate to have such a talented and committed group of people working on the spot." -- Ryan Peck, creative director/copywriter, Fallon

TechniquesTo address the agency's creative brief, director Frank Budgen planned to capture all the umbrellas in-camera, just as they were meant to appear within each of the finished scenes. Toward that end, special mobile rigs capable of suspending a dozen or more umbrellas were built and used on each location over the five-day shoot in and around Los Angeles, where Budgen and Kuras filmed on Fuji F-64D and Reala 500D stocks using the ARRIFLEX 235 camera package.

As a result of the diligent production approach, Angus Wall was able to assemble the scenes featuring practical umbrellas right away upon receiving the transfers of the live-action footage. By viewing the offline edit, Murphy was then able to assess which of the practical umbrellas appeared natural, and began coordinating efforts with the CG team to create umbrellas that could be layered in organically. Final CG sequences created in Autodesk Maya were composited into many scenes by Murphy and 2D VFX artist Stefan Gaillot, while 2D artist Mike Bliss removed mobile rigs and suspension wires from the live-action plates.

Credits for Travelers Drifters Visual Effects Company: a52VFX Supervisor: Patrick Murphy Colorist: Angus Wall Flame Artists: Patrick Murphy, Stefan Gaillot, Mike BlissCGI Supervisor: Kirk Shintani CGI Artists: Andy Hall, Paulo de Almada, Joe Chiechi, Adam Newman, Ian Ruhfass, Terry Shigemitsu VFX Producer: Jenny Bright Executive Producer: Jennifer Sofio Hall Agency: Fallon Creative Directors:  Scott O'Leary, Ryan Peck Art Director:  Scott O'Leary Copywriter:  Ryan Peck Director of Integrated Production:  Vic Palumbo Executive Producer:  Kate Talbott Production Company:  Gorgeous Enterprises Director:  Frank Budgen Director of Photography: Ellen Kuras/Frank Budgen Executive Producer: Cassie Hulen Producer: Alicia Richards Production Manager: Judy Vermeulen Editorial Company: Rock Paper Scissors Editor: Angus Wall Executive Producer: Linda Carlson, Carol Lynn Weaver Producer: Kim Colen Editorial Assistant: Grant Surmi  Mix Company:  Eleven Sound Mix Engineer:  Jeff Fuller Music Track: "Worries" Langhorne Slim

Liberty Mutual's Good Vibations

Liberty Mutual's Good Vibations

Acme Filmworks"Good Vibrations may be our best Responsibility Project film. It teaches us about doing the right thing, but the film and animation that Jérémy Clapin created is original and engaging regardless of that it¹s just a special film to watch."

"For Responsibility Project we created short films to encourage people to talk about what it means to do the right thing. In the past, we used live-action and it worked well but something was missing. I think it was Jérémy Clapin. His imagination and inventiveness created one of our most engaging films. We¹ve heard from lots of teachers around the U.S. that they¹re using the film to create discussions in their classrooms." -- Rob Rich, EVP/Creative Director, Hill Holliday

Credits for Liberty Mutual's Good Vibations Production Company: Acme FilmworksWriter, Director, Desiger: Jérémy ClapinProducer: Ron DiamondExecutive Producers: Kevin Moehlenkamp, Rob Rich, Ernie Schenck, Bryan Sweeney, Scott HainlineVanilla SeedCG Supervisor: Jean-Francois SarazinCG Artists: Alex Artaud, Helene Emain, Forent Magnat, Laurent Boucher, Fabien Bougas, Charlene Girodet, Roman MussoMusic: Nicolas MartinSound Design: Eric Lonni -- Digital Salade

Scion xD Explosion

Scion xD Explosion

ATTIK"With this Brand Manifesto campaign, we've found some fun and exciting ways to invite even more trendleading, creative individuals to participate in the brand's unique philosophy of 'vehicle as self-expression.' For the new TV spots, our creative focused on finding dynamic ways to convey each vehicle's personality, and connecting those with individuality.  With Scion, their goal is to communicate with young people, and we feel that the brand has been phenomenal at recognizing the need to communicate in a credible manner with that audience in order to remain accepted by them." -- Simon Needham, ATTIK's creative director, co-director

TechniquesFor this project, ATTIK provided Shilo with in-depth campaign positioning information, a detailed script, and moodboards conveying specific Scion xD 'manifestos' along with suggestions on photographic and graphical styles, colors, textures, and typography. Moving forward in bringing the spot to life, Shilo's artists first created an animatic.  After locking the edit, the teams then moved forward in refining the animation in the action taking place, as well as the camera moves, and presented a motion test showcasing the spot's final look and feel. From there, all the rendering, compositing, and color came from Method. Key tools include Adobe Creative Suite, Autodesk Maya, Autodesk Flame and Nuke.

Credits for Scion xD ExplosionAd Agency: ATTIKCreative Director, Broadcast Spot Co-Director: Simon NeedhamAssociate Creative Directors: Ron Lim, Stan ZienkaProduction Company: ShiloDirector: Simon Needham (ATTIK) and Shilo Creative Director: Jose Gomez  Associate Creative Director: Evan Dennis Lead Designers: Evan Dennis, Jose Gomez 3D Animation: Cody Smith, Jesse Franklin, Henning Koczy, Gene ArvanEditor: Adam Bluming  Production Coordinator: Katlin Bradley Producer: Jake HiblerExecutive Producer: Santino Sladavic  VFX and Finishing: Method Studios Senior Executive Producer: Gabby Gourier Producer: Leighton Greer Visual Effects Supervisor: Chris Nichols Compositing Supervisor / Lead Compositor: Chris Bankoff Flame Artist: Marguerite Cargill Lighting Supervisor: Daniel Buck CG Artists: Scott Metzger, Felix Urquiza, Alexander Lee, Didier Levy, Dave Carlson, Erik LeeNuke Compositors: Ryan Raith, Jake Maymudes Coordinator: Lauren Haggard Music and Sound Design: Face The Music Executive Producer: Adam Joseph  Composer/Sound Designer: Matthew Kratz  Additional Sound Designer: Michael Schmidt Mixer: David Carden

Diet Dr. Pepper I Exist

Diet Dr. Pepper I Exist

Bent Image Lab

This animation was a lot of fun to make. Deutsch’s script was excellent and called for nuanced performances by all of the characters in the spot. Bent aimed to create a believable cast and Ken Lidster and the team did a fantastic job making that happen through skilled, subtle character animation. Even though the spot is only 30 seconds long, the performances really allow you to get to know each character.

Credits for Diet Dr. Pepper I Exist Production Company: Bent Image LabDirector: Ken LidsterExecutive Producer: Ray Di CarloSenior Producer: Tsui Ling ToomerProducer: Kara PlaceCoordinator: Ryan ShanholtzerDirector of Photography: Mark Eifert Product Shoot Director of Photography: Jay Wesley JonesStage Manager: Jim BirkettArt Director/Set Designer: Curt Enderle Art Department Director: Solomon Burbridge Art Department: Greg Fosmire, Marty Easterday, Kimi Kaplowitz, Mary Blankenburg, Daniel Miller, Huy Vu, Jayme Hansen, Kate Fenker, Brandi CochraneStoryboard Artist: Steve Hess Character Design: Brett Superstar, Steve Hess, Monique Ligons, Colin Batty Principal Animators: Jerold Howard, Jeff Riley Editorial Supervisor: JD Dawson After Effects Supervisor: Tarn FoxComposite Artists (After Effects): Orland Nutt, Brian Kinkley, Jay Twenge, Sean Saul Composite Artists (2D): Traci Cook Agency: Deutsch, LAPresident/Chief Creative Officer: Eric HirshbergSVP/Group CD: Chris RibieroSr. Designer: Marius GedgaudasSr. Producer: Tracy JonesSVP, Group Account Director: Valencia GaylesAccount Director: Helen MurrayPost Production Company: DownstreamColorist: Jim Barrett

United States of Tara -- Out of the Box

United States of Tara -- Out of the Box

Blind Visual Propaganda"From the initial pitch through final delivery, Tom [Koh] and everyone at Blind were wonderful collaborators who did an incredible job of bringing our vision to life -- we couldn't be happier with the results. Tom's wonderful imagination and creativity combined with his complete understanding of the complexities of the shoot and all the post-production details made him the perfect person to handle the difficult task of visually representing the complex nature of Tara's multiple personalities in a bold, striking and visually unforgettable way. This was our first project with Blind, but hopefully just the first of many." -- Erik Friedman, Showtime Sr. Creative Director

Credits for United States of Tara -- Out of the Box Production Company: Blind Visual PropagandaDirector: Tom KohDP: Bengt JonssonEP: David KleinmanLine Producer: John GomezProd. Supervisor: Alisa KimbleEditor: Carsten BeckerAssistant Editor: Lin WildeProducer: Keith BryantCreative Director: Tom KohEP: David KleinmanHead of Production: Amy KnerlProducer: Keith BryantFX Supervisor: Greg LukomskiLead Designer: Tom KohDesigners: Steve Pacheco, Matthew EncinaLead Animator: Jason Kim3D Animators: Matthew Encina, Penny Zee NederlanderCompositors: Tom Koh, Matthew Encina, Jason Kim, Penny Zee Nederlander3D Modeling: Jason Kim, Penny Zee Nederlander, Tom Koh, Nick SmithCG Tracking: Greg LukomskiRotoscoping: Owen Hammer, Lin WildeClient: Showtime NetworksSr. CD: Erik FriedmanWriter/Producer: Vedia AyvazArt Director: Tony CastellanoLine Producer: Lorraine O'ConnorLine Producer: Diana RoachSound Design/Audio Post: Broadway SoundSound Designer/Mixer: John Crenshaw

Jack Daniel's Old No. 7

Jack Daniel's Old No. 7

Brand New School"Arnold had a really strong sense of where they wanted to be with these stories, where the brand's unique artwork and filigree come to life stylistically. We really enjoyed being able to work together from the early stages to bring the agency's vision to life. There's a lot of mutual respect between us and our friends at Arnold; from this trust and understanding came some great work." -- Jonathan Notaro, director

TechniquesThis spot represented a fairly elaborate exploration of some sensationalized urban myths surrounding the 'No. 7' found on the Jack Daniel's label artwork, and its meaning. BNS weaved these together into a series of tangential thoughts that are visually threaded together via the brand's unique filigree and high contrast illustration style.  Creating the look and controlling it meant a heavy exploration into the way things were lit and textured. The camera moves were all fairly orthodox, so BNS spent a lot of time getting them right.  Since the spots are largely copy-driven, the camera, and animation had to be in sync with the voice over. Main tools used included Adobe Creative Suite, Autodesk Maya and Autodesk Flame.

Credits for Jack Daniel's Old No. 7 Production Company: Brand New SchoolDirector: Jonathan NotaroArt Directors: Mario Stipinovich, Eric ConceptionDesigners: Ricardo Villavicencio, Stephen Kelleher, Emmett DziezaCG Lead: Vadim Turchin3D Animation: Eric Concepcion, Han Ho, Mike Garcia, Walter Lubinski, Kim Kehoe, Andre Salyer, Carmine Laietta, Adam Rosenzweig, Dave LoGiudice, John Kalagian2D Animation: Stieg RetlinStoryboard Artists: Will RosadoCompositor: Eric Concepcion, Dave LoGiudice, Michal FinegoldExecutive Producer: Danny RosenbloomHead of Production: Devin BrookProducer: Toby Sowers, Mike SulloProduction Coordinator: Ilona KlaverAdvertising Agency: ArnoldChief Creative Officer: Pete FavatCreative Directors: Wade Devers, Wade PaschallAssociate Creative Directors: Lee Walters, Chad LeitzExecutive Producer: Billy NearAssistant Producer: Reaghan PuleoAccount Director: Chris FerkoBusiness Manager: Maria RougvieOriginal Music: The LodgeCreative Directors: Eric Hillebrecht & Colin ThibadeauComposers "Old Number 7": Alex WeinsteinExecutive Producer: Sallie MooreProducer: Heather WeisbergV.O. Artist:  Billy Mondy

Radiohead Nude

Radiohead Nude

Dancing Diablo"This project pushed the limits of animation into something closer to art. We thought it could be very interesting to show not just the video, but the whole range of elements used, including photos, paintings and still frames. "Nude" is a haunting dream-like song, filled with provocative abstract references, and ambiguities. It lyrics and tenor inspired us to deviate from the conventional music video approach, and create a piece of art that captures its complexity with a textural and organic visual stream of consciousness true to the emotional spirit of the song." -- Beatriz Helena Ramos, director

TechniquesDancing Diablo created all of the art for the video by hand, combining a variety of natural and manmade objects, while experimenting with the four natural elements: earth, fire, water and air. Remaining true to this organic approach, they opted for traditional stop-motion animation, keeping the use of After Effects to a minimum.

Credits for Radiohead Nude Production Company: Dancing DiabloDirectors: Beatriz Helena Ramos, Jose Antonio Ojea

Audi AG Intelligently Combined

Audi AG Intelligently Combined

Digital Domain"The original creative brief was that the entire car would be diced up as if it had been put through a giant bread slicer. As the cube solved we would see the jumbled car sections become more and more recognizable until the entire car was formed. In discussions with Carl [Erik Rinsch], it was decided to not cut the car up in an unnatural way but rather to assemble it from real individual car   parts as realistically as possible. This meant that instead of lining   up car parts next to each other and having an entire car magically become whole, we needed to design a delivery system to move parts and subsections from cube to cube. Having everything based on gravity and inertia allowed us to facilitate parts joining by dropping or sliding together which led to entire systems coming together such as engine and transmission." -- Jay Barton, visual effects supervisor

Credits for Audi AG Intelligently Combined Animation & Visual Effects: Digital Domain, Inc.President of Commercials, Executive Producer: Ed UlbrichExecutive Producer / Head of Production: Karen AndersonVisual Effects Supervisor: Jay BartonVisual Effects Producer: Chris FieldhouseCG Supervisor: Ronald D. HerbstVisual Effects Coordinator: Stephanie EscobarSr. Flame Artist: David SternFlame Artist: Matthew J.D. BramanteEditor: Russ GlasgowPrevis: David RosenbaumAnimators: Simon Dunsdon, Adrian DimondDigital Artists: Tim Jones, Chris Norpchen, David Liu, Masa NaritaSr. Compositor: Rafael F. ColónNuke Compositors: Jacqueline Cooper, Sven DreesbachRoto Artists:     Hilery Johnson Copeland, Karin LastIntegration Tracker: Peter HerleinAd Agency: kempertrautmann GmbHCreative Direction: Gerrit Zinke, Jens Theil, Florian Weber, Tobias Ahrens, Sönke BuschArt Direction: Florian Schimmer, Simon Jasper PhilippAgency Producer: Ruth JansenStrategic Planner: Nils WollnyAccount Managers: Andrea Bison, Niklas KruchtenTeam Assistant: Jan RüttenProduction Company: Markenfilm GmbH &Co. KGDirector: Carl Erik RinschDirector or Photography: Martin RuheHead of Production: Katie StiebelAssistant Producer: Ruth PerkProduction Manager: Christopher ManzMusic House: AudioforceComposer: Thomas SüssAudio Post/Mix House: NHBMixers: Wenke Kleine-Benne, Stefan Lügger

Honda Accord Crosstour Instruments

Honda Accord Crosstour Instruments

Elastic"This campaign has been very collaborative between us and RPA, and I have been fortunate to develop a great relationship with the agency. They gave our design team a lot of freedom to develop ideas and were very trusting that the look and approach we developed would be something that the client and consumer would embrace." -- Andy Hall, director

TechniquesThe main creative challenge was centered around our approach of taking very detailed characters and stripping them down to just their form, while not losing any emotion, warmth or mood that was captured in our initial boards.  Saul Bass's methodology of believing that there's no substitute for great design, and that you really only need to provide what's necessary to communicate story points, really helped inspire Elastic when it was pitching their first concepts. This approach embodied that way of thinking in terms of attitude, stylization of the characters and the sense of mood. In the end it was able communicate the idea through the use of polygonal information that enabled us share details with the viewer only when necessary. Key project tools were Maya and Nuke.

Credits for Honda Accord Crosstour Instruments Production Company: ElasticDirector: Andy HallDP: Toby IrwinLive Action Producer: David WolfsonExecutive Producer: Jennifer Sofio HallDesigners: An Nguyen, Henry de Leon, Eunice Kim, Max UlichneyAd Agency: RPAChief Creative Officer: David SmithCreative Director: Pat MendelsonWriter: Seth PrandiniArt Director: Chuck BlackwellExecutive Producer: Gary PaticoffVFX/Finishing Company: a52CG Lead: Max Ulichney3D Artists: Paulo de Almada, Ian Ruhfass, Christina Lee, Rick Glenn, Kevin Culhane, Joe ChiechiLead Compositor: Shahana KhanRotoscoping: David HochstadterColorist: Angus WallAssistant Producer: Heather JohannProducer: Sarah HaynesExecutive Producer: Jennifer Sofio HallMusic: HUMArrangement by: Alex Kemp & Robert LopezExecutive Creative Director: Jeff KozCreative Director: Alex KempExecutive Producer: Debbi LandonCreative Director, Licensing: Tricia Halloran

Pepsi Rising

Pepsi Rising

Framestore"We felt that the more bits where the actor is touching and connected with real objects, the better," says Bartlett, "So the dartboard, the spokes and rim of the bike wheel, the neck of the guitar and its 'strings' -- all those were real giant models. Also shot for real were the various real world environments -- the fast food counter, the school, the parental home, the business floor. In each of those we also shot two passes, so we could create the effect of two different gravitational fields at work - one for the rooms and their inhabitants and another for the external 'reality', ie the steep surface our hero is climbing." -- William Bartlett, visual effects supervisor

TechniquesThe complexity of the job -- the enormous number of assets and the dual use of Maya and Houdini -- meant that the team developed something more akin to a movie pipeline than something entailed by the average commercial. This enabled the lighting TDs to build scenes quickly and to devote their attention to making the shots look good, rather than the repetitive work of placing models and assigning shaders.

Credits for Pepsi Rising VFX & Telecine: FramestoreVFX Supervisor: William Bartlett3D Supervisor: Simon FrenchProducer: Michael StanishAd Agency: BBDOAgency Creatives: David Bertram, Leo BerneCreative Directors: Jean-Francois Sacco, Gilles FichtebergAgency Producer: France MonnetProduction Company: Rattling StickDirector: Danny KleinmanProducer: Johnnie Frankel

Beeline Privet

Beeline Privet

Rhino"We had a lot of fun with this spot. The characters are funny and the animation is really beautiful. This is a very expressive, enticing piece, with animals that are genuinely cute and whimsical. The constant brainstorming and exchange of ideas between our animators and the agency creatives was incredibly smooth and productive." -- Natasha Saenko, director.

Credits for Beeline Privet CG Production Company: RhinoDirector: Natasha SaenkoAnimator/Rigger: Goran Ognjanovic, Rob DollaseAnimator: Jaime A. Castañeda, Sean CurranLead Lighter: Rob PearsonLighter: Yuheng Chiang, Gilad KenanModeler: Jagammay Himamshu, Brian DinotoFlame Composite Artist: Micky GorensteinProduction Coordinator: Cynthia AngelHead of Production/Producer: Karen Bianca BisignanoCOO/Executive Producer: Camille GeierManaging Director: Rick WagonheimCEO: Zviah EldarAgency: Lowe AdventaContact: Maria VeretennikovaProduction Company: Just UsProducer: Anton ZamakhinCreative Director: Maria MolchanovaArt Director: Olia Diyakova

Guinness Spoken Word

Guinness Spoken Word

Shilo"For calling on us to fulfill this script's very tall order, we were honored and we embraced the challenge with everything we had. Directing for us is so much about bringing a broad, holistic vision to the table.  Shooting the live-action, and directing the performance, as well as seamlessly integrating our poetic design and animated elements all took on equal importance.  Nothing was an afterthought. Guinness represents greatness, and for this short film powerfully representing a person's journey toward greatness, we had a goal of making sure that every frame, every nuance, felt authentic and on-brand. Looking at the finished result, we're extremely proud, and again, we express our deep appreciation to the creatives at Saatchi & Saatchi, and their clients at Guinness, for putting their faith in us." -- André Stringer, creative directorTechniquesTo fulfill the high expectations for this project, under the direction of creative director Andre Stringer, Shilo's team worked very diligently to locate the perfect actor (Ainsley Burrows), to find the perfect location, and then to capture their live-action footage with director of photography Martin Ahlgren using the ARRIFLEX 435 Xtreme 35mm motion picture camera, and also the ARRICAM ST for hand-held shots. The choice of film stock was Kodak Vision2 200T 5217 color negative film. The creative also called for Shilo to create original animated content, which appears around Burrows as he speaks, to illustrate his words and thoughts. At first appearing as a flowing atmospheric trail following the artist, shapes organically materialize, symbolizing many different images of time, travel, growth, freedom and more.  For this aspect of the production, Shilo's artists used Adobe Creative Suite 3 for design, Autodesk Maya for animation and 3D, Adobe Photoshop for texturing, Adobe After Effects for compositing, and Final Cut Pro for editing. FumeFX was also used for the creation of particles, and Maya nCloth was used for cloth simulation.

Credits for Guinness Spoken Word Production Company: Shilo at Hanrahan Director: Shilo Creative Director: André Stringer Director of Photography: Martin Ahlgren Associate Creative Director/Designer: Evan Dennis Lead Artist: Tamir Sapir Editors: Josh Bodnar, André Stringer, Galen Summer Illustrator: Zach Johnsen Animators: Henning Koczy, Craig Kohlmeyer, Stieg Retlin, Warren Heimall Compositors: Bashir Hamid, Tamir Sapir, André Stringer 3D Artists: Warren Heimall, Craig Kohlmeyer, Christina Ku, Youngmin Kim, Chris Fung, Joji Tsuruga Rotoscopers: Constance Conrad, Joel Voelker, Chris West, Stieg Retlin Trackers: Chris West, Joel Voelker Producer: Lindsay Bodanza Line Producer: Nina Goldberg Executive Producer: Tracy Chandler Executive Producer for Hanrahan: Mark Hanrahan Advertising Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi Creative Director: Tim Hearn Creative Team: Dave Govier, Levi Slavin Executive Broadcast Director: Andy Gulliman Regional Planning Director: Karen Johnstone Account Director: Frederic Roger Account Manager: Victoria Reiz TV Producer: Laura Mueller TV Production Assistant: Emma Wolanski Music and Sound Design: Human Principal Talent: Ainsley Burrows

RadioShack Nutcracker

RadioShack Nutcracker

Stardust Studios"Our mandate from the agency was to keep a visual rawness to our stories, which was an interesting challenge, since we're known for giving imagery a designed, stylized look. So we had to constantly check ourselves to make sure we weren't over-refining shots. This enabled us to inject a lot of fun, innocence and playful energy into the spots, which creatively, was what the campaign is all about." -- Brad Tucker, director

Credits for RadioShack Nutcracker Production Company: Stardust StudiosDirector: Brad Tucker Executive Producer: Paul Abatemarco Line Producer: Rich Kaylor Director Of Photography: Stephen McGehee Creative Director, Director: Brad Tucker Executive Producer: Paul Abatemarco Producer: Alyssa Evans Flame Artist: Ryan Yoshimoto 2D Artists: Joseph Andrade, Earl Burnley, Thomas Horne, Anastacio Gallardo, Andrew Parris 3D Artists: Joseph Andrade, Josh Delaney, Chris Eckardt, Kim Im, Kevin Ta, Brandon Thomas, Na Song  Roto Artists: Ivy Depies, Tiffany Germann, Richard Hirst, Marvin Lee, Katia Levy, Dana Robinson  Designers:  Bill Bak, Earl Burnley, Ling Feng, Angela Ko, Gretchen Nash, Juliet Park, Huei Peng, Belinda Rodriguez, Ali Yazdanian, James YiEditor: Tony Hall, Michael Merkwan Editorial Producer: Alyssa Evans   Ad Agency: Butler, Shine, Stern & PartnersECDs: John Butler, Mike Shine ACDs: John Reid, J.P. Guiseppi Writers: Mike Tuton, Chris Jacobs, Nick Mathisen Jr Writer: Trey Tyler ADs: Jay Berry, John Verrochi, Lisa Doman Jr Interactive Designers: Andy Mindler, Sinan Dagli Director Of Broadcast Production: Adrienne Cummins Broadcast Producer: Kate Morrison Group Account Director: John Sheehan Account Director: Maureen Bitter

MI6 Conference Opening

MI6 Conference Opening

Thornberg & Forester

Thornberg & Forester was selected to create the opening for the 2009 MI6 Conference. We were charged with developing an idea that visually illustrated the theme of this year’s conference, "Mastering the Momentum." When we began concepting, Creative Director Justin Meredith discovered the shape of the angular momentum equation graphically resembled the number six.  This realization linked the notion of the angular momentum equation with both the conference theme and the MI6 branding. Building on the intense energy of an industry whose games demand faster processors and cutting-edge, high-intensity visuals, T&F crafted the narrative for an adrenaline-charged conference open. We started by inventing a tough video game thug named "Kron". As Kron drives around a central hub, he accelerates to a blinding speed. The speed becomes so intense the chain that is anchoring him to the hub breaks, launching him forward to form the stem of the number six which transitions into the MI6 logo. This spot seamlessly integrates the theme of the conference with the logo, while staying true to its audience -- a feat not easy to accomplish.

Credits for MI6 Conference OpeningProduction Company: Thornberg & ForesterDirector: Justin MeredithCreative Directors: Justin Meredith, Scott MatzVFX Supervisor: Miah Morehead3D Lead: Linas JodwalisCharacter Animator: Jesse FranklinCharacter Designer/Modeler: Steve Talkowski3D Graphics: Joe Russ, Morgan JamesDesigner: Justin MeredithStoryboard Artist: Brian WilcoxEditor: Josh BodnarLead Compositor: Miah MoreheadSound Design: Nylon StudiosProducers: Kimberly Abels, Bill Galusha, Pamela RykowskiExecutive Producer: Elizabeth Kiehner

Shu Uemura Art of Beauty 2009

Shu Uemura Art of Beauty 2009

We Are Plus"In the end, the combination of design, animation, and the overall energy we gave the piece is something we're all very pleased with. Also, I think the original graphic design elements we came up with did a nice job of unifying a lot of disparate looks and presenting a visually cohesive, exciting story for the Shu Uemura brand and its products." -- Zu Al-Kadiri, projects director

TechniquesWe Are Plus's overall challenge was to showcase the Shu Uemura brand and its product line in an interesting, visually arresting way, while also aiming to add an inspirational dimension to the presentation. After surveying the available footage and imagery, it began fleshing out the cut. Based on their research, the artists created original designs and animation. The project toolset for We Are Plus involved using Final Cut Pro for editing, Adobe Creative Suite for design, and Adobe After Effects for animation, compositing and finishing.

Credits for Shu Uemura Art of Beauty 2009 Creative Agency/Production Company: We Are Plus Creative Directors: Jeremy Hollister & Judy WellfareProjects Director/Executive Producer: Zu Al-KadiriEditor: Judy WellfareLead Designer/Animator: Laura RielandAnimators: Danial Pernikoff, Seth Pomerantz Music: John Napolillo

Rabbids: Episode #5 "The Big Day"

Rabbids: Episode #5 "The Big Day"

Wildbrain

This piece features Ubisoft's globally recognized Rabbids characters. Wildbrain's challenge was to hit the ground running with design and animation that would be harmonious with Ubisoft's specific brand development.

TechniquesThe project was done using a combination of Flash Animation and multiplane. Photoshop and After Effects were also used.

Credits for Rabbids: Episode #5 "The Big Day"Director: c.staples Producers: Marge Dean, c.staples

Rick DeMott is the director of content for Animation World Network, VFXWorld and AWNtv. Additionally, he's the creator of the movie review site, Rick's Flicks Picks, which was recently named one of the 100 best movie blogs by The Daily Reviewer. He has written for TV series, such as Discovery Kids' Growing Up Creepie and Cartoon Network's Pet Alien, the animation history book Animation Art, and the humor, absurdist and surrealist website Unloosen. Previously, he held various production and management positions in the entertainment industry.

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Rick DeMott
Animation World Network
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Creator of Rick's Flicks Picks

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