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Gatorade Ice Gets Cool With Help From A52

Visual effects and design company A52 has recently completed visual effects work for the latest Gatorade Ice spot via agency Element 79 Partners and director Phil Joanou. "Defining Mia," a 30-second spot that began airing on April 1, 2002, shows U.S. soccer star Mia Hamm on the field with Gatorade Ice in her veins. While she shoots for the winning goal, a sequence of X-ray shots shows the Ice at work inside her. Led by visual effects supervisor and Inferno artist Simon Brewster, A52's team created the CGI skeleton X-ray effect, handled extensive crowd and stadium replacement and created the spot's end-tag. "The agency came to us with an idea of creating an animated X-ray skeleton of Mia Hamm that would have icy liquid running through its veins as a way to illustrate the product," explained Brewster. "In addition, the signature Gatorade colored drips now needed to be icy sweat that framed Mia's face in a compelling and convincing way." The "icy sweat" on Mia's face was created primarily in Inferno and included CGI ice particles to create a realistic icy effect. "After our CGI team created the particle animation, we tracked that onto Mia's face in Inferno, then applied various plug-ins and filters and adjusted the color and grain," explained Brewster. "These effects were also applied to the liquid that was pouring onto Mia during the live action." For the animated X-ray, A52's CGI team created a fully articulated skeleton that was based on accurate measurements of Mia. To create the "ice in the veins" effects, the CGI team designed a particle animation to run through the network of CGI veins that were part of the larger skeleton. A52 also created the illusion of a full stadium by handling extensive crowd replacement and adding stadium extensions. Principal photography was done at the Los Angeles Coliseum where A52's team filmed crowd footage to give them what they needed to turn a group of 200 spectators into a stadium full of fans. After rotoscoping all the players from the principal photography, Brewster brought all the pieces together in Discreet Inferno. Other credits for A52 include executive producer Darcy Parsons and producer Scott Boyajan, on-set visual effects supervisors Ron Cosentino and Michael Gibson, Flame artists Mark Alan Loso and Marguerite Cargill, Henry Infinity artist and online editor Scott Johnson and 3D animators Denis Gauthier and Jeff Willette.