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Framestore Kicks with FIFA 11 Spot

Framestore has worked alongside Johnny Green and W+K Amsterdam to create a two-minute commercial bursting with the spirit of a global football tournament. Promoting EA Sports' new FIFA 11 game, the spot pits nine teams of global footie superstars and everyday fans against each other in a computer game match that's played out in a Framestore designed CG stadium.

Press Release from Framestore

Framestore has worked alongside Johnny Green and W+K Amsterdam to create a two-minute commercial bursting with the spirit of a global football tournament. Promoting EA Sports' new FIFA 11 game, the spot pits nine teams of global footie superstars and everyday fans against each other in a computer game match that's played out in a Framestore designed CG stadium.

The production entailed 130 VFX shots. Due to this epic scale of design and attention to detail, the project was rather challenging. Shot back in April 2010, the film required four months of intense post production from double capacity teams. As a huge global campaign of differing time-lengths and variants, the team produced over 72 deliverables.

With so many shots to work on, the commercial required a feature film approach. Framestore employed its features pipeline and used 'Shot Gun' for scheduling - an online way of tracking multiple layers and elements in one shot, normally reserved for features. Sometimes the team had to take on board up to five minutes of feedback on each of the 130 shots. To improve efficiency some pre-viz assets were used in post production and camera data was sent to both Flame & Maya using customised tools for a better workflow. The workflow was entirely tapeless. Shoot footage was fed straight into the edit and then conformed online ready for a DI grade by Framestore's telecine artist, Dave Ludlam.

Framestore's 2D VFX Supervisor, Jonathan Hairman, supervised the three-day shoot in a vast convention centre in Barcelona. It was a physically demanding shoot, requiring Hairman to run across great distances in order to follow the set-wide camera moves. The convention centre lacked the type of geography that lends itself to natural markers so LED light poles were distributed throughout the centre as tracking markers.

Back in Flame, some of the camera work was particularly tricky as the camera was enclosed in a pod and swung between various players from a pendulum. The resulting motion was inconsistent but had to be fixed to feel like a graceful swing. A circular truss rig spinning at 30mph was also used. Such differing shots had to be finely integrated and sometimes tied together to make one seamless move, in the style of motion control.Design work came in the form building a CG environment to complement the conference centre location, developing giant team crests and hand-crafting elements like motion blur and smoke.

The environment had to look like a modern stadium without coming across as sci-fi. The CG team responded by designing delicate and elegant modern concrete architecture. The team had to strive to balance creating a big and epic environment whilst keeping it looking human. So they ended up populating the stadium using crowd plates from Framestore's asset archive.

The sheer volume of shots, filmed at so many different angles, posed quite a problem to the CG team. They overcame this issue by splitting shots across the team but used 'Shot Gun' to maintain consistency.

Framestore also designed and crafted nine giant light-based team crests. For example, Real Madrid's team plays in front of a pin matrix made of lights. The brief was to create self-illuminating crests with the ambition of a global rock band. They were modelled in great detail including screws and wires that could catch the odd highlight. These crests are present and animated in most shots.

Motion blur had to be hand-crafted to focus on particular colours and lights. Atmospheric touches like light beams and lens flairs were also added as a further design element.

Most celebrity players were only available for half an hour each so the group end shot is entirely constructed. In fact, some players were integrated using animated digital stills.

Framestore's 2D VFX supervisor, Jonathan Hairman, said: "Although this project didn't require unusual VFX, the sheer scale of the production was a challenge in itself. This issue of scale was heightened by immense attention to detail, creating intricate VFX to the highest possible level of perfection... over 130 shots!"

AGENCY Wieden & KennedyAGENCY PRODUCER Jaime TanPRODUCTION COMPANY KnuckleheadDIRECTOR Johnny GreenPRODUCER Lyndsey TurnhamVFX Framestore

Framestore is an Oscar-winning visual effects company and the UK's leading authority on stereoscopic 3D. Framestore uses innovative talent and technology to create hi-end images for every platform. In addition to working for Hollywood studios, advertisers, ad agencies, production and gaming companies, Framestore also generates its own paid-for content: eg - VFX in Your Pocket and Polar Peril.

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