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Charlex Makes Taxis Dance For Cingular

In the new commercial forCingular, a throng of fully animated, amazingly real taxis move to ajazzy, horn-honking track with plenty of New York City attitude, withhelp from digital production house Charlex. The spot, titled "TaxiDance," was conceived by agency BBDO New York/Atlanta for CingularWireless New York. According to Charlex executive creative directorAlex Weil, "Taxi Dance" is Charlex's most technically involved 3D jobto date. "The Busby Berkeley-like choreography of taxicabs raises thebar for photorealism, marrying incredible complexity with coolcreative." Charlex used Maya, shake and Photoshop to complete the 3Dvisuals for the spot, but a number of proprietary tools had to bedeveloped as well. Creating the spot started with previsuals whereplain boxes were used as proxy objects for the cabs. While animatorsled by CG supervisor Bryan Godwin devised the movement and flow ofthe taxis, senior technical director Joe DiLallo created a physicsprogram to make the taxis behave like real cars. Custom tools gavethe cabs believability in suspension, sway and wheel tracking, withdents, scratches, bumper stickers and other touches added forreality. A resolution tool with Maya allowed precuts and swappingproxy objects with animation, letting the animators work on the flywith directors, to pinpoint texturing and lighting effects in realtime. Charlex creative director Colin McGreal observed the challengesweren't only technical. He explained that from a design standpoint,the task was to maintain a filmic look and strong Cingular graphicidentity, while making the taxis look real in an unreal world ofwhite. "Taxi Dance" is one of five new spots Charlex completed forthe Cingular campaign.

Credits for "Taxi Dance" include:

For BBDO: chief creative officer Ted Sann, executive creative director Charlie Miesmer, creative directors Susan Credle & Steve Rutter, CD/copywriter Jackie Hathiramani, CD/art director Kyle Lewis, executive producer Adam Isidore and music producer Melissa Chester.

For Charlex: executive creative director Alex Weil, creative directorColin McGreal, Flame/Smoke artist Alan Neidorf, Flame artists Mark Szumski &Kevin Quinlan, CG supervisor Bryan Godwin, animator/lighting technical director Jeff Chavez, lighting technical director Karl Coyner, senior effects technical director Bill Watral, senior technical director Joe DiLallo, animator Nick Craven, technical director Michael Sparber, CG artist Zander Adell, assistant editor Matt Gendron, executive producer Amy Kindred, senior producer Steve Chiarello.

Music by Fluid.