Charlex Makes Taxis Dance For Cingular
Cingular, a throng of fully animated, amazingly real taxis move to a
jazzy, horn-honking track with plenty of New York City attitude, with
help from digital production house Charlex. The spot, titled "Taxi
Dance," was conceived by agency BBDO New York/Atlanta for Cingular
Wireless New York. According to Charlex executive creative director
Alex Weil, "Taxi Dance" is Charlex's most technically involved 3D job
to date. "The Busby Berkeley-like choreography of taxicabs raises the
bar for photorealism, marrying incredible complexity with cool
creative." Charlex used Maya, shake and Photoshop to complete the 3D
visuals for the spot, but a number of proprietary tools had to be
developed as well. Creating the spot started with previsuals where
plain boxes were used as proxy objects for the cabs. While animators
led by CG supervisor Bryan Godwin devised the movement and flow of
the taxis, senior technical director Joe DiLallo created a physics
program to make the taxis behave like real cars. Custom tools gave
the cabs believability in suspension, sway and wheel tracking, with
dents, scratches, bumper stickers and other touches added for
reality. A resolution tool with Maya allowed precuts and swapping
proxy objects with animation, letting the animators work on the fly
with directors, to pinpoint texturing and lighting effects in real
time. Charlex creative director Colin McGreal observed the challenges
weren't only technical. He explained that from a design standpoint,
the task was to maintain a filmic look and strong Cingular graphic
identity, while making the taxis look real in an unreal world of
white. "Taxi Dance" is one of five new spots Charlex completed for
the 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 director Colin 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.