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Read an article featuring Gnome in
Animation World Magazine

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Outstanding Achievement In An Animated Television Commercial

Featuring a somewhat naughty ceramic garden Gnome, the Hollywood Gum spot Gnome in the Garden, was brought to life thanks to the talented artists at Ring of Fire in West Hollywood, CA. Directed by Tim Burton, the amusing spot begins with night falling. With the change of hour, the impish gnome sprints from his lawn on a frenzied journey, ultimately finding-- and joining-- a very human bathing beauty.

The model of the gnome was created with the assistance of Viewpoint Data Labs in Salt Lake City, Utah. Using photographs as a guide, a sculpture of the gnome was made out of clay. This sculpture was then digitized using a Microscribe system. Once Viewpoint was finished, the artists at Ring of Fire completed custom remodeling (i.e. facial features) for certain scenes.

Ring of Fire CGI Animators Gonzalo Caulonga and Robin Scher, as well as freelance CGI artist Melinda Tidwell, used the real sculpture of the gnome as a reference for the texture map of the CGI gnome. Ring of Fire then worked with A Band Apart Commercials, Los Angeles to schedule a motion capture production shoot at Future Light Studios, Santa Monica, California. A small person, Arturo Gil, was cast to be the Gnome during the motion capture shoot. Using visual effects plates shot during production as a reference, Tim Burton directed Arturo to be the Gnome moving throughout the environment of the commercial.

The motion capture data was applied to the CGI Gnome by Gonzalo and Robin using Alias/Wavefront's Maya software on SGI High Impact and Octane systems. After final renders were complete, the CGI elements were sent to Ring of Fire's Henry and Flame for final compositing.

Ring of Fire Creative Director, Jerry Spivack, worked with Senior Henry Artist Kevin Prendiville and Senior Flame Artist Simon Scott to composite the CGI Gnome animation into the production visual effects plates. Integrating the CGI animation into the plates and creating subtle interaction of the Gnome to its real environment in a seamless manner was the goal. The composites were further refined after the Ring of Fire team received comments from Tim Burton. In all, Ring of Fire created 25 visual effects composites for the Hollywood Gum commercial plus several additional shots requested by French production company Hamster Publicist.


Ring of Fire:
Jerry Spivack - VFX Supervisor/Creative Director/Henry Artist
John Myers - Executive Producer/MoCap VFX Supervisor
Gonzalo Caulonga - Lead CGI Animator
Robin Scher - CGI Animator
Melinda Tidwell - CGI Animator
Simon Scott - Flame Artist
Kevin Prendiville - Henry Artist/Online Editor
Coenraad Slis - Post Prod. Supervisor
Casey Conroy - Post Prod. Supervisor
Lisa Hodge - Post Prod. Supervisor
Ken Sjogren, Gary Mortensen, Lisa Hodge - Rotoscope Artists
Viewpoint Data Labs - CGI Modeling and Texture Support

Motion Capture: Futurelight
Producer: Dan Michelson

Client: Hollywood Gum
Production Company (US): A Band Apart Commercials
Director: Tim Burton
Producer: Michael Bonardchek

Jigsaw Editorial
Editor: Brad Wetmore

Production Company (France)
Hamster Publicit
Executive Producer: Sophie de la Motte
Producer: Laurence Charlot

Euro RSCG, Paris, France
Producer: Anne Boucher
Art Director: Jean-Cristophe
Writer - Didier

All clips and images © Ring of Fire. All rights reserved.