Spontaneous Shocks Circuit City With Photo-Real Santa Spots
Spontaneous Combustion, a digital studio specializing in the creation of visual effects and design for the advertising, broadcast and film industries, has created and composited a photo-realistic 3D spot for a new Circuit City campaign. "Digital Santa" opens in a world where elves act as caddies and Santa Claus spends his time golfing. The Spontaneous Combustion team needed to make the effects seamless by replacing one of the backgrounds in the first spot with a blue sky. In addition, they had to add reflections and shadows onto Santa's Palm Pilot and onto television monitors, add snow and frost in scenes, composite footage onto television monitors, and create a transition to reality - when an ice cream truck races by and becomes a Circuit City truck. Spontaneous Combustion senior visual effects compositor/supervisor David Elkins said, "When a television or Palm Pilot powers on, the type has to flash and settle onscreen. A great deal of our time was spent making sure the element was realistic. In addition, for each spot, the Circuit City sign has to transition from the background to being on an orange card and the type had to look photo-real - as if it is part of its environment. Part of this challenge was to capture the pitch and feel of the Circuit City sign - reflecting the orange onto the type and applying dark maroon shadows so that it wouldn't seem as if it were just comped in. There are subtle changes. For example, when Digital Santa gazes through the store window, type drops down, followed by the orange card. Because it was a bluish, snowy scene, we added a bluish tint to the shadows and the typeface." Spontaneous Combustion utilized inferno*, After Effects, 3D Studio MAX and Photoshop on this project. The Spontaneous Combustion creative crew included senior visual effects compositor/ supervisor/inferno* artist David Elkins, creative director/head of CGI Sam DeWitt, After Effects artist Bryan Keeling, assistant inferno* artist Greg Lewis, animator Alex Smith; Photoshop artist Bang, executive producer Marc Schwartz, senior producer Simone Pillinger and assistant producer Tricia Chatterton. The spot was created for New York ad agency TBWAChiatDay.