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MPC Creates Spectacular Rebrand for U.K.’s Sky Arts

New broadcast IDs include a spot-shaking Dalmatian, a butterfly-brandishing geisha, and an umbrella-blooming tree.

LONDON -- MPC has created a rebrand spectacle for Sky Arts in an identity refresh for the entertainment channel, having worked with Sky on two 25 second channel idents; “Dog,” “Butterflies,” and a third, “Umbrellas,” is to follow. Sky Arts prides itself on being the catalyst for creativity, which infuses creativity, and the DNA of Sky Arts. The ambition was to create a set of spine-tingling channel identities underpinned by the simple navigation system.

Sky Lead Design Director, Alex Haley commented, “MPC's passion, expertise and willingness to go the extra mile on the Sky Arts rebrand has been second to none. At each stage of the project their attention to detail has elevated the work, creating an identity we are incredibly proud of.”

MPC’s CG Supervisor, Greg McKneally, added, “It was a great collaboration working with Director Adam Wells and Sky Creative over several months, from the initial planning to the highly technical shoots, right through to the final finesse of balancing the visual effects. Each ident presented a different set of challenges, with both CG characters and effects to integrate into the different environments.”

Director Adam Wells also added, “On paper, the idea was pretty simple; visualizing the transformation from ordinary to extraordinary through color. However, this creative was only going to succeed through a strong collaboration between the live action elements and VFX. Each spot came with unique challenges, integrating three very different representatives of color in three different scenes. The attention to detail from the VFX team was incredible from the beginning of R&D, through to on-set supervision and all the way across post production. Whenever I pushed more from the visual effects, the artists then wanted to push this further and make even better. This finesse and meticulous attention to all aspects, alongside MPC's collaborative spirit, played a vital part in creating a beautifully crafted set of idents.” 

“Dogs” shows a Dalmatian shaking off its spots and turning into drops of paint. The ident is a combination of smart shooting techniques and complex VFX.  The dog, called Chance, was shot in a pure white set build and while the performance was being filmed, the CG team built a replica so that we see a clean white dog when the CG spots animate.

The paint was a combination of live action elements and CG simulations, which were consolidated to populate the white space with complete control and direction.

“Butterflies” was created using a seamless transition from the actress to a swarm of beautiful Monarch butterflies. While the CG butterflies were based on real examples from extensive research, the colors were altered to align with the new Sky Arts branding.

The spot was shot in the striking scenery of Kings Palace in Turin and the swarm was created with a bespoke simulation in Houdini which was enhanced with individually animated hero butterflies.

“Umbrella” was shot in the surreal limestone environment of Malham, Yorkshire, to create a tree that blooms umbrellas instead of leaves. A variety of colored umbrellas were created, then animated, popping out of the branches and flying across the landscape. Something as simple as an umbrella needs to have realistic movement and cloth simulation. For added complexity they also needed to react with a CG rain simulation. The spot is tied together with a moody tone of digital matte painting and seamless compositing.

Source: MPC