Budapest, Hungarys Cartoon Webworks recently completed three commercials for TEAM Hungary, a Young & Rubicam subsidiary. These are the first three in a series of twelve animated spots that will begin airing this month on Viva+, Hungarys music television channel. The commercials are among the first TV ads in Europe produced entirely in Macromedia Flash.
Santa Monica-based Mixin Pixls recently contributed CG effects and post-production finishing services to Cognito Films and the Riester-Robb Agency/Phoenix, for a new anti-smoking PSA commissioned by the Arizona Department of Health Services. The spot began airing in April 2001. In Smoke Ring, a magic smoke ring pulls two lovers to a new world that is burnt and scarred by the toxicity of smoking.
Hollywoods REZN8, a leading digital design company, has produced the graphics and animation package for the first annual World Stunt Awards telecast. Working with the Taurus World Stunt Awards Foundation, REZN8 was responsible for the design, production and animation of the computer-generated opening sequence and transition segments for the event. The opening sequence for the telecast began with a shimmering star that releases the Taurus and returns it to Earth cast as a gleaming golden statuette.
Western Images has finished work on the animation and effects for Melon-choly, a commercial spot for Quaker Oats Crispy Minis snack food. In the spot, designed to promote healthy snacks, a desperate potato chip attempts to eliminate his competition, but ends up meeting its own demise instead. The rogue chip attempts to push bags of Crispy Minis off a kitchen counter, but isnt strong enough to finish the job. It backs up to enable a running attack, but as it is about to make contact, the bags are moved, and in Wile E.
Spontaneous Combustion has created the visual effects for both a 15-second and 30-second spot for Tropicana Pure Premium Grovestand. The spots feature a woman pealing an orange that bursts forth with gallons of juice. Spontaneous Combustion's director of visual effects/senior inferno* artist David A. Elkins said, "Our client wanted the footage to look wetter and juicier to convey just how tasty the product is. In keeping with Tropicana's packaging, we created a clean white background for the shots that were lensed against blue screen.
Loop Filmworks' director, David Chartier, recently wrapped up a promotional package for Bravo Network's special screening of the GODFATHER Saga. Loop Filmworks incorporated story-board style illustrations and sound bites from Bravo's INSIDE THE ACTORS STUDIO to illustrate some of the behind-the scenes stories told by director Francis Ford Coppola and stars Robert DeNiro, James Caan and Al Pacino. The spots have a stylized rotoscope animation look and were designed to look like archived film footage from the 1970s.
Click 3x provided visual effects design and production services for a new national campaign for Dos Equis beer. Ad agency McCann-Erickson conceived the three 30-second spots where the product's familiar double "X" logo manifests itself in some rather unexpected places. "Ceiling Fan" opens on a young couple as they hustle into their beachfront cottage and flop on the bed. Soon the ceiling fan prompts the woman to run to the kitchen for beer. "Cocktail Dresses" has two guys hanging out at an event at an art museum.
TOPIX has just wrapped on two 15-second in-theater vignettes for Famous Players, Canada's top grossing and fastest growing theatrical exhibitor. "Feature Presentation" and "Coming Attractions," in both English and French, showcase the Famous Players theaters and their high-tech sound capabilities. The spots were created by agency Encore Strategic Marketing of Toronto. TOPIX designer/art director Mark Cutler describes the vignettes as a "millennium lava lamp, a visual stimuli that is non-specific but ties in with the music, maintaining the same fascination one has with the lamp.
Edgeworx recently completed work on a pair of spots for GMC's new SUV, the GMC Envoy. Edgeworx teamed with ad agency Lowe Lintas and Partners and designer Todd St. John of Hunter Gatherer in creating the design and animation of the commercials. "Comforts of Home" and "Relax" feature some of the GMC Engineers responsible for making the Envoy comfortable and safe. The graphic design frames key elements of the spot by placing them in a graphic timeline. Graphics for both spots were created using the Adobe suite of After Effects, Illustrator and Photoshop.
ViewPoint Studios and Las Vegas-based The Merica Agency recently teamed up to create a 3D spot for Cox Communications entitled "Desktop Animal." "The idea started with a direct mail piece to sell Direct Internet Access for Cox Communications," said Scott Robertson, creative director from The Merica Agency. The spot features various herds of animals that look like a computer mouse. "We knew and understood the client's concerns," said Mike Leone, lead animator for ViewPoint Studios.
Director John Adams of Area 51 Films and effects house R!OT have teamed on two new spots for Michelob Light. The ads were conceived by the Chicago creative services and marketing agency Leapnet. The first spot features a young man who makes a wrong turn on the path to romance. The second, more technically challenging spot, features a bottle of beer as a skyscraper. Adams worked with Leapnet's creative team and visual effects artists from R!OT in designing the final scene. The image is an entirely artificial creation composed of 3D elements and a detailed digital matte painting.
FrameStore has wrapped on three new commercials to launch Nintendos latest Game Boy handset, Game Boy Advance. All three commercials were written and produced by agency Leo Burnett of Chicago, and directed by the Vienna-based directing duo, Rad-ish (Moritz and Christophe). FrameStore's SFX artists created three, highly stylized, virtual worlds, which each allude to one of the three new games developed to accompany the new handset. As synthetic snow was banned on the location of "Church," FrameStore created falling and settling snow for the interior shots.
Quiet Man has wrapped a new spot for General Electric's "Artica" refrigerator. The 30-second spot entitled "Artica" shows the new refrigerator in a field, a wine cellar and finally in a kitchen in various locations around the globe. "It was one of those jobs with a tight schedule," said lead visual effects artist Colin Stackpole. "But, it was surprisingly unproblematic, considering the conditions. First, we had to find stock footage over which to composite the refrigerator. By using locked off footage I wouldn't have to worry about changing angles or lighting as everything remains static.
Santa Monica-based R!OT provided visual effects for "This is Where I Came In," the first music video from the Bee Gees CD set of the same name. The video opens with a barrage of single frame images ending in a rec room inside a 60s VW van. The various members of the group pop into and float through the frame at all angles. Henry artist Lisa Tomei created all of the visual effects and finished the video on a Quantel Henry platform.
FilmCore's Charlie Chubak has wrapped four new spots for the Ford Dealers of Southern California and agency Dailey & Associates. "Head Turner" follows two guys swiveling their heads a full 180-degrees to see a red Ford Mustang. "Out of Focus" follows a blurred human form as it gets out of bed and leaves the house. Only when the character turns the ignition of its Ford Focus does the man come into focus. "Weekends" mixes shots of Ford SUVs with poppy graphics, while "Truck Size" featured no visual enhancement.
TOPIX has recently completed the online and CGI for a 30-second spot promoting Colgate-Palmolive's household cleaner, Fabuloso. Featuring a Carmen Miranda look-alike, "Conga" was developed through ad agency Young & Rubicam (Mexico City, Mexico), and debuted in Mexico and Uruguay in May, with a debut in Panama, Ecuador and Columbia set for June and July. After cleaning her dishes with Fabuloso, a Brazilian bombshell and two trumpet players jump from the clean plates, inspiring Mom, son and the family dog to dance a conga line around the kitchen.
London-based Loose Moose, producers of the award-winning stop-motion Pepsi-Lipton BRISK tea campaign, has expanded into 2D CGI by joining with the directing duo of Neville Astley and Mark Baker. The team's first spot for Loose Moose was a spot entitled "Cheese Trapeze" for the Kraft Cheese Singles campaign "Working with CelAction 2D software, we have been able to bring a contemporary look to the Kraft Cheese Singles spot using bright colors, highly stylized characters and animation with flavors of Japanimation," Astley said.
Renegade Animation has wrapped on the main title, bumpers and end title package for THE LOONEY TUNES SHOW, a new series featuring classic Warner Bros. cartoons on Cartoon Network. The cel-animated package features the Looney Tunes gang as the members of a Broadway-style show and slips backstage capturing candid glimpses of the characters. "Cartoon Network brought us wonderful scripts and storyboards and our animators had a lot of fun in executing them," said Renegade Animation executive producer Ashley Postlewaite.
Western Images recently created visual effects for "Twist," and "Wacky Faces," two Nabisco spots directed by Mark Dippe, of Pandemonium, for New Yorks FCB agency. Both spots first aired in May 2001. They feature twisted faces in a fun fruit frenzy that filled a cafeterias air with colorful CGI fruit bits.
TOPIX/Mad Dog completed the Inferno effects and compositing for Life, Canadian rock band Our Ladys Peace first single for their fourth album, Spritual Machines. The video, which made its Canadian debut April 7, 2001, on MUCH MUSIC, has since begun airing in the US on MTV2. TOPIX/Mad Dog created graphics with an Asian flavor, inspired by Kanji characters, a written alphabet common to both China and Japan. They enlisted the assistance of a Chinese calligrapher and created a bed of characters by scanning them into the computer.
Character and visual effects company AurenyA, in association with Fusion Media Group, is creating the cinema title piece for Bruce Willis new production studio, Cheyenne Enterprises LLC. The nearly completed piece has grown to over 150 layers of visual effects, creating a hyper-realistic final product. Using Alias|Wavefronts Maya 3.0, visual effects supervisor Eric Tang and technical director Ron Miller used AurenyAs proprietary character animation software technology, Gesture, in order to model and animate characters with enhanced efficiency and precision.
Ring of Fire completed three 30-second spots, "High Noon," "Day of the Dumpsters" and "Fashion Show, for a Unisys campaign. Ring of Fires gear of tools included: Quantel Henry, Discreet Logic Inferno, Maya, Commotion and Adobe After Effects. "'Day of the Dumpsters' required a wide range of visual effects," remarked Ring of Fire senior post-production producer Casey Conroy. "One of our challenges was to create a CGI building that would sit in the middle of a lone desert landscape.
Creative firm ViewPoint Studios created the new open and program package for Discovery Wings Channels, EXTREME AIR. ViewPoint Studios designer/art director Michael MacKenzie said, Discovery Wings Channel supplied us with some truly amazing footage.
New Yorks Quiet Man recently created visual effects for three 30-second spots for Mike's Hard Lemonade. In each spot, the victim either a lumberjack, a distracted marine biologist or an unfastened construction worker enjoys recovering from a serious accident with a mug of Mike's Hard Lemonade. "There is a great deal of humor in the inappropriate," says Quiet Man creative director and founder Johnnie Semerad about the Monty Python-esque storylines behind the three spots.
Creative firm ViewPoint Studios announced the completion of a promotional campaign for the Court TV series, FORENSIC FILES. The campaign highlights the fascinating investigative process and intriguing stories of forensic specialists. To effectively convey how the science and technology used by forensic specialists works to uncover the truth surrounding crimes, ViewPoint Studio chose to show how an ordinary object could actually be a crucial piece of evidence. They used everyday objects such as a piece of gum, a cigarette butt, a hair and a fly as their focal points.