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Brickyard VFX Dials Up Design for the Launch of T-Mobile's New G1 Phone

Artist owned-and-operated bi-coastal effects boutique Brickyard VFX contributed vfx supervision, CG and graphic design work on a three-spot TV campaign for T-Mobile via ad agency Publicis in the West. Directed by Stylewar for production company Smuggler, QUESTIONS, SHARK and HOT DOG promote the new T-Mobile G1 phone with Google, which gives people the power of information, right at their fingertips. The campaign broke October 31.

The campaign features playful scenarios in which people pose questions -- some practical, others humorously random -- that could easily be answered with the new G1 phone. A scuba diver emerges from the ocean and inquires, "Do sharks have eyelids?" Twins wonder in unison, "Do we have the same fingerprints?" and a woman at a snack cart asks, "What's really in a hot dog?" Interspersed throughout the spots are visual demonstrations of the phone created entirely in CG by the Brickyard VFX 2D and 3D team led by Mandy Sorenson, Patrick Poulatian and Robert Sethi.

Working with a basic CAD model of the phone provided by the T-Mobile team, Brickyard VFX used Autodesk Maya to re-create the G1 in CG, adding the T-Mobile logo and subtle scratches, smudges and lighting effects to make it look indistinguishably photo-realistic. Brickyard VFX artists also created all simulated screen graphics to demonstrate the G1's features, such as fast Web surfing and Google Maps functionality, compositing the graphics seamlessly onto the CG phone.

"Working with the FBX files out of Maya was integral to a streamlined and efficient workflow," said Mandy Sorenson, Lead 2D Artist, Brickyard VFX. "Time and time again, for each of the spots, we had to change out the screens and adjust for new phone animation, so the interplay between our 2D and 3D departments was crucial."

In addition to CG and graphic design, Brickyard also provided compositing and finishing for the ads, replacing city backdrops and performing clean up and beauty work. Visual effects were supervised for the production by Mandy Sorenson and Robert Sethi, and produced at Brickyard VFX by Carla Attanasio.


Client: T-MobileTitles: "Questions" "Shark" "Hot Dog"Visual Effects: Brickyard VFXLead 2D Artist: Mandy Sorenson, Patrick PoulatianLead 3D Artist: Robert SethiCG Creative Supervisor: Robert Sethi2D Artist: Narbeh Mardirossian3D Artist: Carl Harders, Dan Gutierrez, David BlumenfeldGraphics: Chris Sonia, Meredith TomasuloShoot Supervision: Mandy Sorenson, Robert SethiExecutive Producer: Sue Troyan, Amy RussoVisual Effects Producer: Carla AttanasioPre Viz Company: StylewarPre Viz Artist: Nico KnudsenAgency: Publicis in the WestCreative Director: Kammie McArthur, Stacy MilranyExecutive Creative Director: Bob MooreArt Director: Stacy MilranyAgency Producer: Mary Ellen Farrar, Rebecca NashCopywriter: Kammie McArthur, Steve WilliamsProduction Company: SmugglerDirector: StylewarDirector of Photography: Tobias SchliesslerProduction Design/Art Direction: Floyd AlbeeExecutive Producer: Patrick Milling Smith, Brian Carmody, Lisa Rich, Allison KunzmanProducer: Martha DavisEditorial Company: WhitehouseEditor: Lisa Gunning, Heidi BlackTelecine Company: Company 3Colorist: Matt TurnerAudio Post: LimeSound Design: LimeAudio Mixer: Rohan YoungMusic: Mophonics