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Blur Lands Robotic Hand to Sirius

Blur Studio recently provided CG TV spots and a billboard campaign for satellite radio service Sirius, working with Miami ad agency Crispin, Poter & Bogusky. The Venice, California-based design and animation studio provided everything from storyboarding and concept design through title design, 3D animation and final post. In addition, Blur produced artwork for a national billboard campaign. Both broadcast and print ads employ images of robots and holograms to highlight the portability of the Sirius service, which can be used both in car and home stereo systems.

The TV spots are set inside a futuristic test facility where a robotic arm manipulates a Sirius Plug & Play unit. The arm plugs the device into holographic representations of the dashboard of a car and a system of home stereo components, and forms an approving O.K. sign for its crisp digital sound. The print campaign consists of billboards located in major cities across the U.S. showing the robotic arm gripping the Sirius unit.

The Blur team design the robotic arm's futuristic look, detailed hydraulics and nimble movements, endowing the device with a whimsical personality. Blur artists also designed the dashboard and stereo system holograms, which both contain the look and feel of future engineering.

"The robot has a humanoid, but not quite human quality," noted Blur creative director Tim Miller. "It's a device from the assembly line of the future." Blur artists imagined the robot's environment as a holo-deck, added CG supervisor Jeremy Cook, "where anything might be made to appear. We're letting viewers in on the behind-the-scenes testing of an incredible new device."

In supplying artwork for the print ad, the Blur team used assets from the animated spot, but rendered at extremely high resolution. Miller noted that it was very efficient to repurpose elements.

Production was completed entirely in-house by Blur, whose toolset included Discreet's 3ds max for modeling and animation, eyeonline's Digital Fusion for compositing and Splutterfish Brazil for rendering.

Joining Miller and Cook on the Blur creative team were Sherry Wallace, producer; Chuck Wojtkiewicz, concept design; David Nibbelin, animation; Jed Denjean and Heikki Anttila, modeling; and Paul Hormis, character rigging.

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