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Radium Creates ‘Product People’ Party for Target

Production house Radium lent its CG and visual effects expertise to create a high-energy street-party themed spot, PRODUCT PEOPLE, for Target, a client of Peterson Milla Hooks, Minneapolis.

Directed by Spaz Williams (THE WILD), with Radiums creative director Jonathan Keeton, the spot features Target store products that merge with each other to form dancing party people. PRODUCT PEOPLE is the first in a series of Target spots Radium will produce this year with Peterson Milla Hooks. It debuted April 2.

Lead artist and CG head, Aladino Debert, explained, Stylistically, we wanted it to feel like RENT in outer space colorful, energetic and theatrical, with each character having a distinctive personality. Its a rich concept that opens up all sorts of possibilities for other spots for the client. Created entirely in CG, the camera moves fluidly through the various rooms of an apartment to reveal, in a series of fast edits, Targets product people dancing at a party.

A second version of the same spot was also produced for the SuperTarget stores, with the additional product people, such as Carmen Cucumber and a Waffle Man.

One of the first steps in the process was to film live-action dancers performing moves to a rudimentary beat track, later developed into a full music track by Ten Music. The dance moves were choreographed by Travis Payne, who is experienced in music videos and motion capture.

This footage was edited into a rough-cut embodying the arc of the story, giving the client and agency a solid feel for the look of the final product. It also gave Radiums team of CG artists a wealth of motion capture data (provided by House of Moves) to draw on for their animation.

Individual Target store products crackers, hardware, cosmetics, grocery items, sports gear are used to make up the product people. We wanted the product components that made up the characters to look like real products, added Debert. The products were first photographed under studio lighting, to enhance their natural color and texture, giving them a photoreal quality and retail appeal that would be retained in the CG environment.

The way the products formed into distinct characters also needed to have visual integrity. It was important that the products interacted and formed into characters in a logical way not just by flying through the air and randomly merging. We wanted the animation to be highly articulated and build the visual richness of the spot, Keeton explained.

Using set design drawings, Radiums artists then built the various apartment interiors in CG: kitchen, bathroom, bedroom and hallway. Targets signature red and white color palette is used throughout for brand recognition. The street and exterior of a big red apartment building is revealed in the closing shot. Visually, the idea was to convey a theatrical cyclorama, Keeton added. We wanted the apartment block at the end to look like a real building, but part of a theatrical set at the same time.

Founded in 1996 by creative directors/visual effects directors Jonathan Keeton and Simon Mowbray, Radium ( brings innovative and inventive solutions to production and post-production. The San Francisco and Los Angeles studios work in tandem on projects, with comprehensive compositing, CG, editor and design divisions in-house. Comprised of the leading talents in the industry, Radium is home to a talented pool of artists with a diversity of background experience, with the ability to work in mediums, including broadcast, film, television, live action and design.