Framestore Crowd Surfs with Pepsi
The project also gave Framestore’s 2D team – led by Chris Redding and Russell Dodgson – an interesting array of challenges. A small scale crew visited San Sebastian early in the process to capture very high resolution panoramic ‘dome’ images of the San Sebastian beach and to shoot the wide opening shot. These high-res location images were then projected onto an accurate topographical model of San Sebastian, extracted from Google Earth. This allowed the team to place a virtual camera anywhere on the beach and achieve realistic scale, perspective and defocus effects, which led to a huge degree of efficiency and consistency across the whole spot.
Due to the limited availability of the hero footballers, the live action elements were spread across three shoots in three different countries, supervised by Chris Redding. Most of the live action crowd elements, body doubles, Calvin Harris and his DJ stage were shot over six days in Romania. The hero players, with the exception of Messi, were shot at Shepperton Studios in England, with Messi being filmed later in Barcelona.
In order to achieve the best result in matching live action elements and CG crowd, the animation team roto-animated the footballers’ performances to be able to relight them in 3D. This approach also provided the freedom to create more dramatic lighting effects and make sure the heroes of the commercial stood out from the supporting crowd.
Another team were tasked with developing the lazer letters that spell out the players’ names as they race across the crowd. After an initial brief from the director that referenced some prototype Japanese ionising lazers, a small team began testing several approaches. Using Houdini once again, the team quickly reached the aesthetic solution seen in the finished spot.
A further team, this time using Autodesk Maya, handled a wide range of additional duties. These included creating the upper two thirds of the main stage, including rigging, moving light units, background cars, additional volumetric lights and even full CG face replacements for some of the hero players. The Maya team was also responsible for creating fully CG digi doubles to replace almost all live action footballer body doubles in wider shots.