Turbo-charged with GenArts' Sapphire Plug-ins, Brickyard has been able to flaunt its effects and compositing systems on a number of new commercial projects, including "Pods Unite" (a shared marketing effort between VW and Apple) and the monster.com "Driver" Super Bowl spot. The work ranges from blowing up trucks into gas stations, to the slightly less glamorous removal of unwanted rigs.
"We use Sapphire Plug-ins every day, but they are so integrated into our workflow that we never think about them as a separate set of tools that we need to access in order to perform a specific task," explained Brickyard founder/vfx artist Dave Waller. We all have our favorite Sapphire Plug-ins buttons permanently set up on our systems' desktops.
"In the 'Pods Unite' ad, for example, we used the Glow effect for the dials on the i-pod; it has to be one of my favorite effects. I use it all the time at the edge of a matte for instance, just to get it to bleed a little bit. It also comes in handy when I comp type over a scene -- a little bit of glow together with the Layer spark makes the type feel like it's embedded into the scene -- sort of like the difference between a cheese sandwich and a grilled cheese. On the Monster spot, we used GlowDarks on every shot as a way to enrich the already beautiful footage and give it a signature look. It allows us to take the blacks and run them down into the picture to create the most amazing expensive look without spending hours and hours on it."
Waller and his team are always on the lookout for new technology that will foster their creativity and help them produce better work faster. "We got very excited when we learned that GenArts was releasing Sapphire Plug-ins for burn. To be honest, there aren't that many truly exciting days in the world of flame operation, but every couple of years or so, something truly exciting comes out. The combination of flame, burn and Sapphire Plug-ins is one of those rare events. It will be a wonderful way to increase the speed of our machines. Some of the Sapphire Plug-ins are very computationally demanding. With burn everything will speed up, which means that we will probably end up using Sapphire even more because we won't even have to think about render times."
Brickyard is in the process of adding an inferno and more flames to its armory.
Sapphire Plug-ins provide digital artists with a collection of more than 200 state-of-the-art image processing and synthesis effects. They fully and seamlessly integrate into a number of editing and compositing systems, including: Adobe After Effects and Adobe Premiere; Apple Final Cut Pro and Shake; Avid's DNA family of products, Media Composer, Xpress, Xpress DV, Symphony and Avid DS; Discreet combustion, flint, flame, inferno, fire, smoke and burn. Sapphire Plug-ins offer a comprehensive suite of tools and effects that can transform any film or video clip. They are resolution-independent, include multi-processor support for faster rendering and run on Windows, Mac, Linux and Irix. Effects in the package range from everyday tools such as Glows, EdgeRays, LensFlare, Glint, Blurs and RackDefocus, to more exotic effects like Lightning Zaps, FlysEye, JpegDamage, HalfTone and Textures.
Based in Cambridge, Mass., GenArts Inc. (www.genarts.com) is a premier provider of digital vfx plug-ins for the film and video industry.