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Final Frontier and Acer Blast Off with Intergalactic Battle Epic

Shanghai-based production company delivers VFX-driven spot featuring swordplay, lava monsters and plenty of mayhem to promote computer maker’s Predator line of gaming hardware.

Shanghai-based production company Final Frontier has just delivered a new VFX-driven spot promoting Acer’s Predator range of gaming hardware, done in collaboration with We Are Social Shanghai and directed by directed by Paulo Garcia and Zombie Studio.

Integrating some live-action footage with extensive CG animation and visual effects, the fast-paced story includes digital warriors, three types of lava monsters and a considerable amount of high-tech swordplay. The concept needed to specifically sell the Predator range’s unique heat-battling technology, tackling a common problem for hardcore gamers.  To that end, Final Frontier executive producer Gus Karam worked alongside We Are Social from the outset to shape the storyline.

Story

Amid the human race’s colonization of the galaxy, in one of the darkest, most wretched recesses of the universe, planet ZB-02 has been ravaged and occupied by the vile alien race, the Go’Re.  Made of fire and sustained by molten heat, the Go’Re travel from planet to planet, purging the land and drilling into the planet’s core to release the searing temperatures that nourish them, indiscriminately slaughtering anything they encounter along the way.  After centuries of destruction, the humans decide to reclaim ZB-02 and cleanse it of the Go`re.

Development 

Garcia and his team were behind the character and world design, the 3D modelling, animation, and the visual effects.  All in, the production took 4-months from conception to delivery.

Explaining his passion for the project, he revealed, “We relished the opportunity to create this world and be part of this fantastic narrative that we humans are reclaiming a colony planet. The challenge was to bring the creatures and humans to the screen as realistically as possible, making sure they would all move in a believable way, developing fight choreography, understanding how each of the lava tribe characters would move, attack, and how each hero would join the battle in a collaborative way to ensure victory.”

The Humans

The human tribe comprises five characters, each inspired by a specific ACER computer.  Though the characters existed as 3D models prior to the campaign, Zombie upgraded their armor and model structures.

The Go’Re 

Zombie designed the initial Go’re monster designs as part of the pitch, and ultimately evolved them into fully rigged and shaded 3D models.   They are split into three categories of warrior:

Gun’Thar (the ‘Light Infantry’)

These monsters are ferocious warriors, with deadly blades attached to their wrists and legs designed for speed, and a big mouth to decimate their prey.  They are fast, strong and merciless creatures that fight to the death.

Gorgun (the ’Middle Infantry’)

Lava runs through the veins of these massive, deadly creatures, maintaining a core temperature as hot as a volcano. His body is dense with skin that feels like heated stone, but reacts like an organic tissue.  Unlike anything found on Earth.

Gaomuth (the ‘Tank’)

Hell itself. These creatures feed at the molten core of the planet, becoming gigantic in size. They live underground, carving lava rivers with their claws.

Garcia noted, “My favourite scene is the big monster revelation, when Gaomuth appears like a boss.  When we see our heroes defeat him so easily, the message we’re sending about the Predators really hits home.”

Production

From the outset, Karam worked closely with the agency and director to establish feasibility for the 3D design and production process.  "It was a fantastic experience working with the We Are Social team and Paulo while the concept was still in the embryonic phase,” he explains. “Working together at that stage, it was truly a partnership, in which our experience and insight could really help from both a creative and a production standpoint. It meant we could foresee the challenges ahead, ensured a really smooth process and, most importantly, led to a spectacular result.”

The live-action shoot took place over one day in the southern Brazilian city Curitiba; Final Frontier leveraged its South America network to assemble the production crew. According to Karam, “There are so many benefits to shooting in Brazil and Latin America. Final Frontier is one of the few companies positioned in Asia to make such international production possible, in this case connecting, China and Taiwan with South America.”

Outcome 

Karam, paying tribute to Garcia and the team at Zombie, said, “Working with Paulo and Zombie was a great experience. Their impeccable direction and execution ensured the final piece was something special."

Credits

Agency - We Are Social

Group Creative Director - Khlauss Feldhaus
Creative Director - Jason Breen
Group Account Director - Nathan Baker
Account Manager - Kristina Knut
Producer - William Yang
Client approval - Wolfgang Hsu

Production Company - Final Frontier 

Executive Producer - Gustavo Karam, Julieta Zajaczkowski, Chris Colman
Producer - Marcio Lovato
Live Action Executive Producer - Felipe Claudino
Line Producer - Enzo Balbinot

Animation Studio - Zombie Studio

Director - Paulo Garcia
Creative Director - Daniel Salles 
Studio Executive Producer  - Natalia Gouvêa 
Producer - Antonela Castro, Leticia Harumi
Account Services - Stefanie Dias 
Production Director - Nayla Kols 
Concept Artist - Estevão Teuber, Feppa Rodrigues, Marcelo Garcia, Anna Caiado, Marcelo Fahd 
Storyboard - Saulo Brito, Marcelo Fahd 
CG Supervisor - Yohann da Geb 
Lead Compositor - Yohann da Geb 
Composition - Gustavo Rangel Adriana Cardozo Wallan Oliveira 
Look Development / Lighting - Claudio Junior, Thiago Peyon, Mauricio Gomes, Mauricio Alvarenga, Gustavo Rangel 
Editor - Yohann da Geb 
Color Grading - Psycho n' Look
T.I. - Gabriel Paixão
Modelling - Mauricio Sampaio, Danilo Gerard, Steferson Rocha, Tiago Oliveira 
Set Dressing - Tiago Oliveira 
Digital Matte Painting - Adriana Cardozo 
Rigging - Kippcase Rigging Studio 
Animation Director - Bruno Monteiro 
Animators - Conrado Testa, Francisco Catão, Michel Denis Da silva, Matheus Caetano, Rodrigo Dutra, Marcos Elias, Igor Copelli, Hanrry Pschera, Bruno Santos, Christian Weckl, Leonidas Maciel 
Technical Supervisor CGI - Wallan Oliveira
Assembler Animation - Lucas Mirkai
FX Artist - Guilherme Casagrande Marco Melantonio
CLoth Simulation - Gustavo Rangel
Crowd Simulation - Wallan Oliveira
Motion - jhony.tv
Music & Sound Production - Cachorro Loco
Composer - Facundo Capece 
Sound design - Lola Richter

Source: Final Frontier

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