Atlanta: With the NFL season in full throttle, Artistic Image (AI) amps up the excitement level among fans at the Georgia Dome with its :60 “Defend The Dome” player intro for the Atlanta Falcons and Ford Motor Company from Team Retail First/Atlanta.
Press Release from Artistic Image
Atlanta: With the NFL season in full throttle, Artistic Image (AI) amps up the excitement level among fans at the Georgia Dome with its :60 “Defend The Dome” player intro for the Atlanta Falcons and Ford Motor Company from Team Retail First/Atlanta. AI merged live action clips of the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons and running footage of this season’s featured vehicle, the Ford Explorer, with bold animation of the team’s namesake raptor to create a monumental video displayed on the stadium’s Jumbotron during the Atlanta Falcons’ home games. AI also crafted two :07 animated videos, “T-shirt Crew” and “Drive Zone,” for the Jumbotron, along with a pair of looped animated promotions designed for the smaller LED screens throughout the stadium.
AI’s director of design and VFX, Ed Dye, who also helmed “Fireworks,” last year’s award-winning CGI campaign for Ford, built upon that experience, creating preliminary storyboards for “Defend The Dome” that take this year’s package to the next level with video content that captures the power of Atlanta’s team, it’s iconic symbol the regal falcon, and the Ford Explorer.
“Giving the live footage a graphic look and balancing it with the 3D animation was the greatest challenge,” says Dye. “Although we had initial direction from the folks at Team Retail First, they gave us a lot of creative freedom with the execution. So we were able to put our stamp on the project while maintaining the agency’s concept and design focus.”
The player intro opens with enormous 3D “Defend The Dome” lettering snapping on the screen in the red and black team colors of the Falcons. It then cuts to live action of the players emerging from the stadium’s tunnel through smoke effects that elevate the drama as crowd cheers.
Animated waves of sound radiate from the stadium into the woods where a falcon takes flight in pursuit of a Ford Explorer travelling along the interstate. The regal bird merges with the vehicle, which AI maps with the raptor’s image. Live-action clips of star players, sporting animated falcon wings, appear and freeze against bold, graphic backgrounds. Finally, the raptor and the Explorer enter the Georgia Dome together. The falcon un-wraps itself from the vehicle in time to catch a pass from Matt Ryan with its talons. “It’s time to rise up and Defend The Dome!”
AI began the production process by creating an animatic with Adobe Photoshop storyboards and selecting live footage. While waiting for approval on the edit, animators began building 3D elements in Autodesk Maya – the falcon, stadium, streets of Atlanta – and working with running footage of the Explorer. During the various stages of audio changes and animation approvals, compositors rotoscoped the players in Adobe After Effects in the live footage and created the final animation.
“One of our biggest challenges was building a falcon that not only moved like a real bird but also translated into a graphic illustration – and looked amazing in both applications,” says Dye. “We also had to figure out how the falcon would wrap on the car and come off the car. That animation needed to be quick but still portray to the audience what was happening. Overall, our goal was translating a graphic look to video while still keeping it three-dimensional and balanced with the live footage.”
One of the additional :07 animations created by AI is broadcasted as the T-shirt crew’s appears on the field and blasts T-shirts into the crowd. The clip shows the raptor flying through T-shirt crew typography to land on the chest of a fan and lock into place on his “Defend The Dome” T-shirt. Another :07 animated video was created for a Ford “Drive Zone” promotion in which the Explorer is showcased just as the falcon flies off the vehicle. A looped LED animation also promotes “Drive Zone;” a second one points fans to defendthedome.com where they can enter to win the official SUV of the Falcons.
At Team Retail First, Patrick Miller was the creative supervisor; Armando “AG” La Hoz, art director; Gary Gee, senior copywriter; Mig Burst producer; and Kirk Sieder, senior VP/creative director.
At AI, Daniel Wiggins modeled and animated the falcon and Explorer; Daniel Barnes modeled the stadium, textured the vehicle and rotoscoped the players; Jeff Ling lit and textured the animation; and Andy Sapp and Owen Chikazawa handled compositing, 2D animation and rotoscoping. Chikazawa also performed color correction in After Effects.
Baco Bryles edited the project, Matt Melburg at Riot/Atlanta sweetened the audio for “Defend The Dome” and Nikos Mavrommatis at Circus Act/Atlanta sweetened the audio for the :07 animations.
ABOUT ARTISTIC IMAGE: Artistic Image/Atlanta is a multi award-winning world-class creative resource where passionate collective of innovative live-action directors, producers, designers, animators, CGI artists, illustrators, editors, compositors, modelers and finishers take each job from concept to fruition as a collaborative team.
The hybrid company takes a design-driven approach to crafting live-action and complex CGI television commercials, virals, broadcast design, outdoor, print and emerging media in a nimble, open-architecture creative environment that provides seamless workflow, top-caliber talent, cutting-edge technology and premiere client services. A reputation as a reliable and cost-effective go-to resource for fresh, innovate national, regional and global media content continues to attract a diverse mix of work.
EQUIPMENT:Maya, Final Cut Pro 7, AfterEffects, PhotoShop, ProTools 9 with Reason 5.0 Rewired, Fairlight T-Shirt and Drive Zone
CREDITS:PROJECT: Falcons and Ford animations to be shown during Falcons games at the Georgia Dome.TITLES: “Ford/Falcons-Jumbotron: Players Intro” :60 + T-shirt Crew :07, and Drive Zone :07Client: Team Retail First (Falcons and Ford)Creative Supervisor: Patrick MillerArt Director: Armando "AG" La HozSenior Copywriter: Gary GeeProducer: Mig BurstSVP/Creative Director: Kirk SiederCopywriter: Gary Gee
VISUAL FX/ANIMATION/DESIGN: Artistic Image/AtlantaDirector: Ed Dye PhotoshopDP: Ed DyeDesigners: Ed DyeProducer: Fernanda Martin3D Artists: Daniel Wiggins, Daniel Barnes, Jeff LingAnimation, Rotoscoping, Compositing: Andy Sapp, Owen ChikazawaColorist: Owen Chikazawa
EDITORIAL:Editor: Baco Bryles
AUDIO + SOUND DESIGN:Circus Act: Sound Designer: Nikos Mavrommatis (Audio Sweetening/T-Shirt+Drive Zone)Riot/Atlanta: Mixer: Matt Melburg (Audio for Player Intro)