LIGHT SPEED's original spot concept involved shooting a live action car and a lot of practical effects and then compositing the whole thing and enhancing it with a small number of 3D effects. So the scope of the original project was originally about 10% CG, but because of what DD was able to achieve in the digital realm, ended up being almost entirely CG and/or CG enhanced in the final execution.
VFX Supervisor Jonah Hall was involved from the early stages of pre-production and worked closely with the director and agency creative team to define the spot concepts. In fact, since Digital Domain's car pipeline is so well established -- the team has literally completed hundreds of CG cars for film and television -- the biggest challenge didn't lie in the execution of the CG and effects, but in defining the look of the comet light streak that carries through and largely sets the tone for the entire commercial.
The look of the streak evolved through several color and textural iterations to become the running bright white blast of light that highlights the car's sleek features.
The Digital Domain VFX team supervised a practical effects shoot on the Sony lot to capture the live-action material. The crew had five cameras on set, a motion control system, and a buck to shoot the car interior. Digital Domain then set up what were basically tables with different science experiments going on -- such as light shows and lasers shooting through foam that the team used indirectly. So instead of applying these practical effects directly, Digital Domain built digital effects with these as inputs, using the effects in combination with CG. The production team shot the car, Digital Domain rotoscoped it out, color graded and lit it to match the CG car, and then reinserted the car and created the digital effects swirling around it.
Client: LincolnProduct: Lincoln MKZ
Air Date for LIGHT SPEED: 3/30/09
Advertising Agency: Team Detroit/Dearborn, MI
Exec. Creative Director: Greg BraunArt Director: Adam HullWriter: Nicholas FloraProducer: Mike StarkSenior Account Manager: Heather Miller
Production Company: RSA Films/Los Angeles, CA
Director: Carl Erik RinschDirector of Photography: Claudio MirandaExecutive Producer: Marjie AbrahamsLine Producer: Annie Johnson
Animation & Visual Effects: Digital Domain/Venice, CA
President of Commercials, Exec. Producer: Ed UlbrichExecutive Producer / Head of Production: Karen AndersonVisual Effects Supervisor: Jonah HallCG Supervisor: James AtkinsonVFX Producer: Chris FieldhouseVFX Coordinator: Stephanie EscobarFlame Artist: Pilon LectezFlame Artist Assistant Matt BramanteNuke Compositor: Rafael F. Colon Nuke Compositor: Krista BensonHoudini Artist: James AtkinsonHoudini Artist: Jason MortimerDigital Artist: Casey BennRoto Artist: Hilery Johnson CopelandRoto Artist: Karin LastRoto Artist: David WuRoto Artist: Kanae MortonOn Set Tracker: Scott EdelsteinIntegration Tracker: Som Shankar
Editorial House: Final Cut/LA/Santa Monica, CA
Editor: Stephen BergerExec. Producer: Kelly Garcia
Music/Band: Shiny Toy Guns
Sound House Design: Ringside CreativeLocation: Oak Park, MISound Designer: Jay Scott
Audio Post/Mix House: Ringside CreativeLocation: Oak Park, MIMixer: Jay Scott