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MPC Gives Sony Bravia A Paint Job

Jonathan Glazer has directed Sony Bravias PAINT, for the color like no other campaign. Working with Fallon and Academy, MPC was charged with post-production, including CG animation and fluid simulation.

The ad is set on a housing estate where multi-colored paint explodes like fireworks. The bursts of color are synchronized to Rossinis THIEVING MAGPIE and detonate from all manner of locations in and around the buildings. The color spectrum stretches from red and yellow through to purple and blue. Toward the end of the ad, a anarchic clown adds a human element to proceedings hot footing it away having instigating the paint deluge.

Glazer involved the MPC team early on in the production process. The first stage was to pre-choreograph the firework display and time it to the Rossini piece. This involved much collaboration with the director, production company and firework display designers. MPC then developed a previs of each scene, using a scale model of Glasgows Toryglen Estate, encompassing all firework and camera positions. 3D vfx supervisor Jim Radford explains, The previs served as a blueprint for production and also helped determine which fireworks would be practical and which would be CG.

The next stage was a comprehensive look development process where MPCs team worked closely with Chris Oddys Asylum practical effects house to develop CG versions of a range of paint fireworks, including the stalks and bombs of paint seen rocketing from the ground and exploding in midair. These had to emulate the practical exploding paint later seen on the shoot. This process evolved alongside the practical paint firework tests throughout pre-production. To achieve believable liquid that would be indistinguishable from real paint at this scale, the team used Scanline AGs Flowline fluid simulation software.

MPCs supervisors fed back information from the two-week shoot period to the artists in the studio to further fine-tune the character of the CG fireworks.

After the shoot, the MPC compositing team, lead by 2D vfx supervisor Ludo Fealy, set about removing any trace of the physical effects shoot. This entailed extensive cleanup, eliminating all evidence of the myriad barrels, rigs, cranes and tarpaulins required to practically shoot the real exploding paint. Much of this painstaking work fell to MPCs dedicated roto-prep department lead by Alasdair McNeill.

Once the plates were prepped, the vfx team set about enhancing the paint explosions seen in the shot footage. Fealy explained, During production we undertook a shorter day and half shoot at Pinewood Studios to capture exploding paint elements. These were then combined with the live action and CG to enhance the plumes of color visible in the shots. Skies were also replaced to removing the changeable Glaswegian weather and ensure continuity throughout the sequence; the crowd of onlookers watching the action were also removed.

The :70 ad began airing internationally Oct. 17, 2006.

London-based MPC ( recently worked on POSEIDON and THE DA VINCI CODE, and is currently working on HARRY POTTER AND THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX. It will be sharing duties on THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: PRINCE CASPIAN with Framestore CFC.