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SWAY Has a Purpose for Honda Element Spot

SWAY Studio, in association with A52, recently wrapped work on an all-CGI spot for the new Honda Element via ad agency Rubin Postaer and Associates. Live-action footage was directed by Roman Coppola (CQ), which was then rotoscoped into photo-real CGI by the artists at SWAY.

The 30-second spot PURPOSE opens on a white background with an overhead swarm of "Mega Bloks." As the bloks fall they build the Honda Element piece by piece. Utilizing the footage shot by Coppola, SWAY recreated the footage and Honda Element via the CGI building "bloks." According to VFX supervisor Mark Glaser, the challenge was dealing with thousands of objects and making them work together.

"When this spot came along, I was immediately excited about the creative and eager to be working with Roman again," said Glaser. "I was also quite aware of the challenges and need to develop custom tools that would allow us to control the movement of millions of 'Mega Bloks,' reconstruct a life-size vehicle out them and manage their integration into the lighting and rendering process. The live-action shoot served as the perfect template for us to work from. Roman was very into capturing every little nuance and texture of the real camera's movement; the process was analogous to electronica artists sampling real instruments in the real world to sequence digital music back at the studio."

A52 managing director Rick Hassen said, "We decided to bring Sway into the project based on past collaborative efforts. As A52 continues to expand the photo-real CGI department this kind of partnership benefits everyone, especially the client because of the level of creativity that is packaged."

Visual Effects and CGI Company: SWAY Studio/Los Angeles, CAVFX Supervisor: Mark GlaserExecutive Producer: Rachel KaminekDigital Artists: Will Wira, Russell Isler, David Hopkins & Robert GlazerVisual Effects Company: A52/Los Angeles, CAFlame Artist: Marguerite CargillManaging Director: Rick HassenExecutive Producer: Darcy Leslie ParsonsProducer: Leighton Greer

SWAY Studio is a computer animation and visual effects house located at 1100 Glendon Avenue, 17th Floor, Los Angeles, CA 90024. For more information, contact the studio at tel.: (310) 689-7237, fax: (310) 689-7272 or Web:

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Rick DeMott
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