London-based Realise Studio has just completed a new commercial for the Royal Mail. Directed by Jon Hollis of 400 films, this special effects laden commercial is a departure from the Royal Mails current quirky campaign. The commercial features a series of transitions from a view of the world from space, to a guy sitting on his sofa in London reading a letter. Each start image is made up of 40,000 others. At a distance the thousands of images combine visually to make up the larger, composite one. As the camera zooms closer the composite one breaks apart. The camera then chooses and zooms into another image that is in turn made up of 40,000 others. "This will possibly be the biggest number of images on screen that anybody has ever seen," said Hollis. Realise Studio's Paul Simpson wrote a special program to sort and select the footage supplied by Hollis. Simpson adapted technology from specialized astronomy programs that interpret pictures from radio telescopes like Hubble. A customized shader was also written that utilized a two-stage color correction process. For each transition Jon selected the start and end images and supplied extensive footage. Using their bespoke program, Realise was able to select and place each image within the larger composite image. Realise animators, Stuart Gordon and Paul Simpson, then key-framed a camera zoom from the start to end images.
Dan Sarto is Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network.