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Spontaneous Combustion Makes A Splash With Pepperidge Farms Goldfish

Spontaneous Combustion helped bite off the heads of Pepperidge Farms' Goldfish for a new ad campaign. Filmed by New York-based Chelsea Pictures, the campaign consists of one 30-second, a 20-second with a 10-second endtag, and a 15-second ad. The spot begins with CG goldfish swimming and diving through a page of sheet music. As the fish start to swim throughout the room, live-action footage of kids and mothers munching on goldfish fill the scene. For the opening scene, the Spontaneous artists utilized both inferno* and After Effects to create the 2D fish that takes center stage on the sheet music. Visual effects supervisor/compositor David Elkins tracked the lighting and added texture to the paper. Spontaneous utilized 3D Studio MAX, After Effects, PhotoShop and inferno* to animate the spot. Elkins said, "The director warned us ahead of time that he was going to shoot it with a very blown-out look, with very strong backlighting which can make it more difficult to comp things in realistically. The integration of CG into live-action back-plates calls for fine attention to detail. There were some obviously unrealistic scenes, like the giant fishes 'swimming' through a room, that had to be treated with the same precision as the more believable scenes, like the one in which a boy tosses a goldfish mid-air and catches it in his mouth. We matched the lighting with the backlighting of the live-action, added some grain and shadows and composited the CG for a seamless blend." Spontaneous Combustion was represented by executive director/creative director Tony Robins; visual effects supervisor/compositor David Elkins; creative director/head of CG animation Sam DeWitt; 3D animators Brian Austin, Boris Ustaev, Alex Smith and Diana Diriwaechter; After Effects artist Sam DeWitt; and producer Trevor King.

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Rick DeMott
Animation World Network
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