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King Camera Puts Dudok de Wit’s United Airlines Spot Into HD

King Camera was responsible for the animation effects and HD output of Michael Dudok de Wits 60-second United Airlines spot, A LIFE, which was produced by Acme Filmworks for the agency Fallon/Worldwide of Minneapolis.

The men from King Camera were experienced, professional, perfectionists and they understood the animators mind. I wanted to rely on their skills totally and I could. Wonderful. And on top of that we got on really well, said Dudok de Wit.

For the spot, Dudok de Wit created color models in Photoshop while King Camera created special purpose built modules to emulate the various Photoshop blending modes used in the models. As with Dudok de Wits previous work such as Oscar-winning short FATHER AND DAUGHTER, textures were required, not only for the backgrounds but also for all the characters, with some scenes requiring the application of more than 70 textures at a time. USAnimations new Opus upgrade, coupled with Dudok de Wits inimitable line quality with its subtle greyscale variations, achieved the desired effects.

King Cameras full HD capability, teamed with USAnimations Opus resolution independent software, enabled the output of two versions simultaneously; in High Definition (HD) at 24-frames per second and NTSC formats at 30-frames per second. Tim Barter, creative senior digital artist/compositor, adds, In all we had an extensive use of over 1,200 textures across the 60-second commercial. So with the additional need to perfectly retain Michaels outstanding line quality and output to both Hi-Def and NTSC within an extremely tight deadline, USAnimation once again proved itself to be an ideal tool. Additionally, King Cameras Chris King, system administrator, made use of Houdini from Side Effects to create snowfall for the commercial and composite NTSC field rendered output from USAnimations Opus.

The highly complex production was challenged by a deadline that was moved forward by two weeks and resulted in Dudok de Wit creating artwork through to the very last days of production. With this in mind, Barter, decided to structure the compositing of the production so that most of the important textures and colour models could arrive later without impacting on the deadline. To this effect, highly complex compositing modules were created that enabled any characters or textures to be plugged into them. Dudok de Wits storyboard was then extrapolated to create proxy characters that would later be scanned in as the real thing. In the process, approximately 1,200 proxy textures were created and plugged in, to be replaced as and when the correct textures arrived.

The King Camera work ethic is that with proper organization, communication and pre-visualization, no production should be stressful or over-run beyond the normal hours in the day!, said Barter. Wishful thinking perhaps, but for the above reasons, working with Michael was an absolute pleasure. Despite Michaels overwhelming workload, he was incredibly organized, which made it possible for me to work from his storyboards, ensuring that neither of us became dependent on the other for material. Michael also had such pre conceived ideas of what he wanted to achieve, that I was able to confidently work in unison with him with the knowledge that our work wouldnt all become redundant as changes were made further down the line. Consequently, despite a curtailed delivery period, a massive workload for Michael and the need to work towards both High Definition and NTSC outputs, the production was wonderfully stress free.

Additional credits include:Acme FilmworksExec producer: Ron DiamondProducer: Holly Stone

Fallon/Worldwide of Minneapolis Advertising AgencySenior producer: Kate TalbottProducer: Sofia Akinyele-TrokeyExec creative director: David LubarsGroup creative director/copywriter: Stuart DRozarioCreative director: Bruce BildstenArt director: Bob Barrie

Based in Soho, London, King Camera is a facility for TV production, animated films and TV commercials. King Cameras Website can be viewed at

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