Black Logic Blasts Off
Created 09/29/2002 - 23:00
Nickelodeon recently collaborated with New York-based visual effects company Black Logic to create a 60-second promo for Nickelodeon.coms Jimmy Neutron Gotta Blast Rocket Race campaign. In "How To Play," Black Logic recreated the Jimmy Neutron character and his rocket ship, as well as countless effects sequences and CGI backgrounds in order to produce the effects packed commercial. Nickelodeon producer/director John Papola, who said that he designed the spot with film-level visual effects in mind, worked closely with Black Logic CG director Doug Johnson and visual effect artist Kate O'Neill to orchestrate the many effects sequences. Visual effects artist Brian Benson and animator Andrew Dayton provided effects supervision at the live-action shoot. The spot begins with Jimmy Neutron rocketing up from space to fill the frame, which transitions to a live-action scene of a boy in his bedroom surfing the Internet. As he logs-on to the Nickelodeon.com Website, the room is transformed via CGI effects into a rocket lab. The boy proceeds to design his own rocket, which builds itself around him. The shape and engines of the rocket evolve in wireframe, the paint job is applied and finally the rockets canopy closes over the boy and it blasts off into space. The spot ends with Jimmy Neutron blasting out of frame into a hyperspace effect, which transforms into Nickelodeon's orange logo. According to Black Logic, the overall challenge with "How to Play" was to visualize this one boys experience playing the Jimmy Neutron Gotta Blast game. First, his bedroom had to turn into Jimmy Neutrons lab. To maximize the flexibility in animating this transformation, it was decided to shoot the boy over green screen and create his bedroom digitally using Maya. In this fashion, walls and bookshelves were rotated and transformed without need of on-set rigging or rotoscoping. Animators Andrew Dayton and Kuan Lin used a combination of wireframe and x-ray shaders in Maya to construct the rocket. To simplify the execution of the rotating camera effect, the boy was again shot over green screen atop a rotating platform, lights and all. The rotating platform was then tracked in Maya, and the entire digital set was rotated to match. The sequence was finished using AfterEffects. Other credits for the spot include executive producer Frank Czuchan and DP Tarquin Cardona. For Black Logic, effects producer Angela Cacchione-Lupo and executive producer Ivan Molomut. Music and audio post was completed by Tonic.