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Spontaneous Combustion Ignites For AT&T

Spontaneous Combustion, a digital studio specializing in the creation of visual effects and design, has completed the CGI effects and compositing for three 30-second spots for AT&T's "Boundless" campaign. The campaign plays on AT&T's logo as it touts its broadband technology and ends with typography that transitions from either "broadband" or "wireless" into "boundless," followed by "att.com." In "Push Pin," blue pushpins fly, hitting a white wall forming the AT&T globe logo. For "Push Pin," the Spontaneous Combustion team took a rough cut of the live-action shoot and began to remove the rig and balancing in the backgrounds. Spontaneous executive creative director Tony Robins said, "We had to add pins to augment the magnitude of the action. We also created some variations of the pin in CG, which were animated in inferno*. After tracking them with a fly path, and adding motion blur and velocity so that they seem to hit the globe at different speeds, we enhanced some scenes with smoke and dust so that the pins impact the surface with a tremendous amount of force. Using Sapphire Shake, we were able to make the entire scene wobble, eliciting an earthquake effect." In "Stripped," a white ball wound with blue wire starts rumbling and eventually is stripped of the blue wire, which then zips around the white background. In "Stripped," Spontaneous Combustion combined the live-action elements, including a spinning globe and one wrapped in cable. Senior visual effects compositor/supervisor David Elkins said, "We matched up both the bare and the wired globes. The director shot rope elements that unravel by attaching wire to an electric drill so that when he powered it, the cord would fly off. We composited these elements on or near the ball to make it look as though it was actually unraveling from the globe, as if it were a ball of yarn." The Spontaneous creative team then added motion blur and "jiggled" the globe in frame to give it a sense of growing intensity. In "Dryer," the AT&T logo begins spinning until it becomes a portal of broadband elements like zeroes, data and graphics. For "Dryer," Elkins designed a base background that would be within the portal at all times. This back plate was filled with digital images, wire frames, grids, targets and assorted objects. Elkins said, "To draw attention to it, we composited elements in the foreground like a giant '@' symbol and http web addresses, some of which were 3 dimensional, that floated around and spiraled in this dryer-soup mix." Finally in AfterEffects, Spontaneous creative director and head of CGI, Sam DeWitt, drew paths and processed elements so they would move along their respective trajectories. All three spots were produced for New York ad agency Young & Rubicam.

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Rick DeMott
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