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TOPIX/Mad Dog Opens Pool For Thrifty Spot

TOPIX/Mad Dog has completed the digital compositing and clean-up, character animation and synchronization of elements for six 15-second spots and one regional 30-second spot for Thrifty Car Rental. Set against a clean, white background, each of the spots features a different twist or gag, like a duck swimming in a convertible during a rain storm and a car being swallowed by a giant hole. T/MD inferno* artist Marco Polsinelli said, "For "Rainy Day," we proposed to line the interior of the car with a water-resistant foam core and fill it with water. Because the car that was being featured is not yet available, a prototype was being used. To create the effect without harming the 2001 model, the 2000 version was shot and ultimately replaced in post with the prototype. This was a particularly intricate job because this year's car has a completely different body and interior. In addition, we had to extract the duck and its reflections and shadows on the original car and apply them to the newer model. We also imported the water into the car, but we had to be sure it looked organic and believable. This was a complex assignment. For each of the spots, the cars could only be shot one at a time, which necessitated a tremendous amount of digital compositing. Each car had to be perfectly positioned on set so that, in post, we could cut and paste them, creating the appearance of multiple cars in the shots." In "Work Out," T/MD synchronized doors opening, in "Side by Side," they animated the hole that swallows one of the automobiles, and for "Internet Rate," they created the spinning wheels and the impact of a car as it got hit. The TOPIX/Mad Dog CGI/post-production crew included executive producer Chris Wallace, senior producer Diana D'Amelio, designer/art director Mark Cutler, inferno* artists Marco Polsinelli and Aaron Weintraub, and 3D animator Patrick Kil. The spots were produced for ad agency Bernstein-Rein (Kansas City, MO).

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Rick DeMott
Animation World Network
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