Beautiful briny game
MPC has created a full cast of over 60 photorealistic CG creatures and provided extensive environment work for Cadbury’s latest commercial ‘Spots V Stripes’, via Fallon and A Glass and A Half Full Productions.
As an official sponsor of the Olympics 2012, Cadbury’s is already building up for the event and has created its own big game, sub-aquatic style. Underwater creatures take sides – stripes or spots – and engage in a dramatic fight over organic balloons. MPC was involved during pre-production including pre-vis and concept work to develop the right look for the creatures and the environment. It was clear from an early stage that VFX would play an essential role in the success of the ad; all the animals had to be fully CG and most of the environments had to be created or enhanced in post.
MPC’s Jake Mengers led the team as VFX Creative Director with Stefan Gerstheimer as 3D Supervisor and Michael Gregory as 2D Supervisor. The director wanted to create a photorealistic look for the creatures but their livery had to be adapted to fit with the teams. MPC’s main challenge was modelling, animating and texturing 14 different types of animals including turtles, devil rays, octopuses, sailfish, ducks, crabs and mantis shrimps. All the assets were modelled in Maya, painted in ZBrush, textured using Body Paint and rendered with Mental Ray.
The live action plates for the environments were captured in the Red Sea during a 5-day shoot. Many of the underwater environments were rebuilt entirely using a combination of 3Delements and live-action projections. Reference material gathered during the shoot helped the 2D team recreate the environment matching detritus, caustic light and the light rays in 3D, combined with volumetric shadows for added realism. A lighting setup was designed to mimic the underwater conditions in a render efficient way.
“To composite the creatures into the live action plates we looked at a lot of real reference we had shot and also lots of underwater stock footage,” explains 2D Supervisor Michael Gregory. “With the help of some wonderfully lit CG and some iridescence passes we were able to seamlessly composite them back into the plate. Paying particular attention to the depth cueing of the shot and adding light rays, subtle flares and detritus helped us bring all the shots to life.”
The balloons were rendered with four different textures including barnacle, lichen and moss passes then integrated with 3D bubbles and exploding cloudy fluid simulated in Maya.
The crescendo to the commercial is a slow motion exit shot with a Tufted Duck being chased by the Sailfish and Devil Ray. The duck was feathered using Maya Fur and rendered using Mental Ray. All of the slo-motion water elements were created with bespoke Bokeh and Real Flow water.
Nick Gordon directed the spot through Academy Films and Augusto Sola was the Creative Director. Jean-Clement Soret added the all-important master grade.
See more by MPC on Fired By Design
View the spot on A Glass And A Half Full Productions site
Play the Cadbury’s Spots V Stripes game online
Cadbury Animatic for Fallon UK
Credits Director: Nick Gordon Advertising Agency: Fallon Agency Producer: Nicky Barnes Creative Director: Augusto Sola Production Company: Academy Films Production Company Producer: Lucy Gossage Editor: Ed Line @ Final Cut Post Production Co: MPC Post Production Producer: Julie Evans VFX Creative Director: Jake Mengers VFX Line Producer: Stefano Salvini VFX Supervisors: Stefan Gerstheimer (3D) and Michael Gregory (2D) 3D VFX Team: Adam Burnett, Adam Elkins, Adam Leary, Ahmed Gharraph, Andrea Falcone, Andrea Kozakova, Andreas Graichen, Andrew Brooks, Andrey Ryabovichev, Anthony Bloor, Antoine Moulineau, Ben Wiggs, Charlotte Tyson, Chris Petts, Christopher Gooch, Dominic Edwards, Fiona Russell, Glen Swetez, Grant Walker, Ian King, Ian Ward, James Bailey, Janak Thacker, Janek Lender, Jason Brown, Jorge Montiel Meurer, Liam Griffin, Mark Brown, Monica Taddei, Nicholas Illingworth, Nidhi Seth, Richard Hopkins, Robert Hesketh, Rodney McFall, Sandy Heslop, Simon Payne, Stefan Gerstheimer 2D VFX Team: Fabio Zaveti, Greg Howe-Davies, Heather Goodenough, Jim Spratling, Kelly Bruce, Michael Gregory, Neil Griffiths, Stephen Newbold Telecine: Jean-Clement Soret