Director Peter Nydrle of NYDRLE, West Hollywood, California, has transformed Cadillacs into Olympic swimmers for a new commercial. "One of the challenges of the project was to give the cars the personality of an Olympic swimmer," explained Nydrle. "It's an attempt to blur reality in a way you rarely see, particularly in a car spot." "Desert Storm" begins with a fleet of Cadillac cars all bearing the names of Olympic Gold Medal swimmers, such as Weissmuller and Spitz, on their license plates. In front of the cars are Olympic styled swimming lanes.
Steele VFX, a Santa Monica, California-based special effects firm specializing in non-linear online editing and visual effects compositing, has wrapped on a new 30-second spot for Jeep. The commercial shows a Jeep moving out of the way of a stampede of elephants. Visual effects artist Jerry Steele had to increase the amount of elephants in the herd to create a more thunderous impact. "The way we did this, was the elephants were photographed at different depths in the scene," said Steele.
ViewPoint Studios has created an on-air identity package for Animal Planet Network. The creative team spent a week at the Chapman Leonard Studio in Orlando Florida filming 34 different species of animals for blue screen compositing. Filming the animals on blue screen allowed the ViewPoint Studios design team to incorporate the footage within the environmental backgrounds. In some cases the animals interact with graphic elements in the scene, as with the prairie dog pushing up the Animal Planet logo as he pops up and down out of his burrow.
To promote the NFL retail shop on NFL.com, Spontaneous Combustion, a digital production studio, designed and composited a campaign for NFL Properties. The campaign consisted of five 30-second spots, eleven 15-seconds spots and four 10-second spots. The various spots highlighted the inspirations that several great NFL players have made on current merchandise. Spontaneous Combustion executive creative director/director Tony Robins collaborated with NFL Properties art director Paul Iannacchino to create the concept, which integrates archival footage with NFL shop merchandise and typography.
TOPIX/Mad Dog has just finished a new Alka-Seltzer ad for the Mexican market. Combining live-action and 3D animation, the 20-second spot, "Termita," features a hungry termite, who cures his upset stomach with Alka-Seltzer. TOPIX/Mad Dogs animation director Richard Rosenman said, "Our priorities were to illustrate the termite eating wood, plastic, becoming ill, and, of course, being cured by a dose of Alka-Seltzer.
Quiet Man created the chip bouncing effects in the new Doritos commercial featuring Miami Heat basketball point guard Tim Hardaway. Phalana Dias was the lead visual effects artist on the spot. Entering a corner store, Hardaway is observed by an awestruck young fan, who watches the star purchase a bag of Doritos 3Ds, a new pyramid shaped chip. Following Hardaway into the street, the pair engages in a trick-shot-type competition, using chips instead of basketballs. "For Dorito's 3Ds, the chips were shot on rigs in the studio," explained Dias.
a.k.a. Pizazz has rapped on three spots for a new campaign for Sanatogen vitamins. All three spots state that we are all aware by now that a healthy diet is the best way to stay fit, but a vitamin supplement is a reassuring way of maintaining the healthy balance, "Just To Make Sure." "Baby Monitor," "Passport" and "Alarm" were done in a 2D painting style. "Baby Monitor" shows a mother, in spite of the presence of her monitor going to check her child. "Passport" shows a family group going on holiday and the mother constantly checking in her handbag for the passports.
Design and cross media studio Miss Jones produced three 30-second spots for AT&T's new media services, which started airing during the Sydney Olympics. Against a white background in the first spot, "Pop," AT&T's familiar blue globe morphs into a pan of popcorn, at first popping slowly and then building to a crescendo while the globe swells to bursting. The second spot "Newton" opens on six AT&T globes lined up in a white field.
Digital animation company Mixin Pixls has birthed a new spot for Verizon Wireless entitled "Cellular Division." Directed by See Spot Run's Lawrence V. O'Flahvan, the spot begins with a view through a microscope studying a phone-looking cell. The "cell" divides into two phones, then splits into five, explaining that with Verizon's Family Share Plan one pool of minutes can be divided between up to five phones. "Creating the animated sequence was an exciting creative challenge," said Mixin Pixls CG animation director Harri Paakkonen.
Quiet Man founder Johnnie Semerad handled the visual effects on the new GE Weathermate spot. Beneath the glow of fireworks, a group of workers applies GE Weathermate and a competing product to respective halves of the Atlantic City boardwalk. The next morning, the portion treated with Weathermate is ready for the crowds and the competitors half is still wet and fuses a boys sandals to the wood. "The first thing we had to do with the Weathermate spot was add fireworks and enhance the background," says Semerad.
Editing Concepts Jesse Reisner combined live-action and graphics for two new 30-second spots for a new Kids Footlocker campaign. In "Super Hero," star Captain Velocity is going through his morning routine, until his emergency phone rings and he zooms off leaving a trail of smoke behind. In "Street Ball," city teens gather for an intense game of basketball, while a series of graphics pop-up to note the difference between the game as they play it and how basketball is played in a gym. "We knew going in that the graphics would play a huge role in the spot," said Reisner.
Quiet Man has created the "ground breaking" visual effects for Planters Nuts newest spot. In the spot, a group of golfers say to each other "gophers don't like nuts," making a rodent do a double take and uproot the putting green by tunneling a likeness of the Planters mascot "Mr. Peanut." "The challenge on the Planters spot came toward the end of the project," said Phalana Dias, Quiet Man visual effects artist. "The gopher's double take wasn't boarded, but it was a good idea, so it was up to me to animate the gopher's head using Inferno.
Santa Monica-based R!OT, a digital production studio, recently finished the visual effects for a commercial promoting Tennessee's Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center. Digital artist Verdi Sevenhuysen helped turn Malibu Beach into the shores of Omaha Beach during D-Day. Sevenhuysen used Discreet Inferno system to alter the live-action footage to match the European topography. He also placed a series of steel tank traps onto the sandy shore. "It was a very close collaboration between director Karsten and I," said Sevenhuysen. "They didn't have the budget to shoot in France, but it didn't matter.
Wild Brain, the San Francisco-based animation house, has wrapped on three 30-second spots for Interline/Scandinavian Designs. The fast-paced commercials pop the furniture companys many types of chairs and sofas onto the screen with an up-tempo sleek design. "The challenge was to design the spots to showcase their huge selection of furnishings in a visually compelling manner, yet remain true to the clean, sleek feel of the line," said spot director and designer Julia Tortolani.
Director Tony Caio and DMA Animation have created a campaign for Delta Airlines' new entertainment programming. The in-air series is a collection of animated shorts featuring a 3D microphone that introduces each video channel. Each short is a comic spoof of movie genres from comedy to romance. Landor Associates, Delta's branding agency, worked in collaboration with DMA and Caio to create the WorldFest winning shorts.
Santa Maria-based Computer Cafe has created the computer animation for a new spot for Radio Shack. "Topiary" is part of Radio Shack's ongoing campaign featuring Hall of Fame American football player Howie Long and actress Teri Hatcher. Computer Cafe formed the massive garden maze in which Long and Hatcher appear. The celebrities were shot on stage with several green covered set pieces, which were replaced with photorealistic computer animated greenery. Computer Cafe created the 3D hedges using Lightwave 3D software and used Digital Fusion to do the compositing.
Sideshow Motion Design has created 81 20-second promotional spots for NBC and Coca Cola to highlight the Summer Olympic Games. The ads utilize still photos of over 40 athletes in a moving fashion evocative of gold photo albums. Jie Shen designed and directed the commercials. "Our client, NBC, saw the importance of collaborating with Coke and wanted to do something with still photography and bring it life with an emotional wallop," said Sideshow president Scott Mantel. "This campaign shows Jies talents off beautifully.
Wildlife & Fugitive director Jay Torres created an amusement park world of rides using Sketcher shoes. Torres placed live-action kids inside shoes that served as the cars of the rides. "We had to shoot each element, be it the live kids or the stop-motion shoe elements separately," said Torres. "Since the amusement park wasnt meant to be realistic, we tried to create more of a surreal environment by using a combination of still frames, live-action and 3D animation. Its definitely a new look and a way to come up with ideas that fit into certain budget limitations.
Soho, U.K.-based The Hive, a 3D animation company, has completed a series of idents to promote the launch of Flextech Interactives brand-new digital TV cable channel, SceneOne. Launched on July 5, 2000, SceneOne is the first-ever television channel to be developed from an Internet site, and focuses on music, film and entertainment. The Hive created three idents "The Club Scene," "The Film Scene" and "The Gig Scene" - to reflect the hip style of SceneOnes three main weekly review programs.
Editing Concepts' Jesse Reisner just finished editing a new spot entitled "Takes It Slow," a new 30-second spot for Pillsbury Toaster Strudels. In the spot, time slows down when a teenager takes a moment to savor a Toaster Strudel before heading off to school. Reisner softened colors, silenced sounds and let the final piece of the tasty food hang in the air before hitting the kids mouth. "This project was all about pacing," said Reisner. "It starts out fast and frantic, then everything slows down when the toaster pops.
New York-based animation and design house, So! much, has created a 3D animated 30-second spot for MCI Worldcom and Blockbuster Video. The "FreeFlix Follies" campaign highlights the free movie bonuses of signing up for MCI with a send-up of vaudeville shows. The commercial reunites Abbott and Costello-like characters Seymour the Movie Ticket and Answer the Telephone, which were created for a previous spot by So! much three years ago. "Were really committed to marrying thoughtful, passionate design work with top-quality CG animation," says Jennifer Yeh, executive producer at So! much.
Quiet Man unzipped the tuxes of some penguins for a new Pepsi ad "Zoo," which introduces new lemon-flavored Pepsi Twist (currently being test marketed in Texas and Minnesota), and has some plucky penguins strip down to their Speedos to take a cooling dip in a pool. Quiet Man creative director and the spots visual effects director Johnnie Semerad used Discreet Logic Inferno software to remove the black from the penguins' bodies, and tack on new arms to allow the movements of a simulated striptease. "The key was to determine how to make the penguins look naked," said Semerad.
The first commercial for the Center for Digital Imaging and Sound (CDIS) includes a clip from VANCOUVER UNDER ATTACK, created by CDIS Visual Effects and Digital Animation (VEDA) Program graduate Sean McQuarrie. The excerpt shows a monstrous alien space craft hovering above Vancouver Science World before unleashing a laser beam that blows up the centre. "It involved two days of filming in DVC Pro and miniDV formats," said McQuarrie. "To get the mix right, I used Maya, Maya Live and the Discreet Station for building up 20 layers of visual effects in total.
TOPIX/Mad Dog has wrapped up the 3D animation and design elements for the new 30-second spot for Kelloggs All-Bran Buds. "Chart" features an anatomical poster of the insides of a healthy woman, who leaps from the wall when no one is around to enjoy a bowl of Kelloggs All-Bran Buds. TOPIX/Mad Dog producer Diana D'amelio said the 3D character "began as a real woman shot on set, wearing a body-stocking, actually going through the actions in a series of takes. We then recreated her as a glass figure, with a skeletal structure and a stylized heart and circulatory system.
New York-based Charlex was brought in by British Petroleum to give a face-lift to their image. "The challenge was to make an interesting commercial using only the British Petroleum logo," said Charlex founder and spot director Alex Weil. "It was an idea originated by BP themselves, but nobody has been able to make it sufficiently interesting until we got hold of it. As [creative director] David Fowler put it, The idea went from the trash can to Charlex. Its a good thing too.