This actually broke over the summer but apparently I never covered it here. Over in Japan there was a huge splash over a new TV star named “Aimi Eguchi”, appearing in a few commercials and TV ads. Later, it was found that the girl was actually a CG-construction, a composite of the faces of the 6 members of the popular japanese pop band “AKB48″.
Confectionery company Ezaki Glico Co., which features the character named Aimi Eguchi along with a few other AKB48 members in the commercial for its Ice no Mi (Fruit of Ice) product, confirmed Monday that she is a composite image of six members of the group.
The six members are Atsuko Maeda (eyes), Tomomi Itano (nose), Yuko Oshima (hairstyle), Mariko Shinoda (mouth), Minami Takahashi (face outline), and Mayu Watanabe (eyebrows), according to a TV ad by Glico.
It looks like they made heavy use of both modern 3D and traditional 2D compositing techniques, combining tricks like Facial Tracking for 3d mesh blending along with outline and image morphing.
Watch the video below for a quick overview of what they did.
The newest ads for the Lexus CT200h premium hybrid show the car driving through unbelievable terrains that can only exist in the world of CG. However, you may not know that the ads are created through the use of some new software created by Dan Abrams.
Lexus is announcing a new series of ads for its all-new CT-2000h premium hybrid today. The ads further push the creative envelope of CG technology, thanks, in part, to new custom software created by Hollywood visual effects wizard, Dan Abrams (“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” “The Aviator”, “Spiderman” and “Spiderman 2”). This is the first time that Abrams’ technology has been used in a feature film or commercial.
Working with Lexus’ African American and urban market agency, walton|isaacson (http://www.waltonisaacson.com), Abrams was able to help create heart-stopping images that can compete visually with the current crop of Hollywood blockbusters. Abrams’ new technology also pushed the envelope in terms of client and user-friendly, as Lexus was able to see and approve renderings far earlier in the process—always vital with the quick turnarounds required in the ad world. The entire process made for a photo realistic car that stood up to the exacting standards of the company. Real footage was also used in the commercial.
A new spot for Carmax showcases the work of Framestore and Amalgamated, working under direction from Tom Kuntz to combine live action, CG, and digital matte paintings into some clever spots.
For “Kid in a Candy Store” Framestore uses digital matte paintings and augmentation of live action plates to show what a geek, a mermaid, a wrestler, a hippy and an acrobat have in common. In the spot, “Gas Station”, Framestore helps a modern day man collide with an old-fashioned gas station in order to show that customer service should not be a thing of the past.
“It’s been great working with Tom Kuntz again on this campaign” says Framestore Executive Producer, James Razzall, “We worked together closely to layer in those additional details- adding crowds and flying saucers, replacing skies/backgrounds as well as bringing the mermaid’s tail to life – that really bring the spots to life.”
Zoic Studios got the almost envious job of shattering the figure of Simon Cowell into millions of pieces for a Super Bowl ad for upcoming show “The X Factor”. Unfortunately, they did have to put him back together again.
To create the effect, a variety of plaster forms simulating Simon Cowell’s legs, torso and head were detonated at high speed (1000-1500 fps) and shot on the Zoic Studios Stage. A week later on a London sound stage, high-speed principal photography captured multiple angles of Simon Cowell, both static and spinning on a turntable, against an all-black environment with heavy backlight. Additionally, Simon Cowell was 3D scanned to provide high-resolution textures for the eventual 3D model of his full body. Autodesk’s Maya was then used to fracture and explode the 3D model
Get all the details in the release after the break.
The new ad for the Honda CR-V will debut during this weekend’s SuperBowl XLV, showing the work of “Brand New School” in dealing with some fun compositing work.
On location, the BNS team used the ARRI Alexa digital camera system to capture HD source footage. Also, a crane car called The Edge System from Performance Filmworks allowed the crew to capture the moving vehicle from various angles as it appeared in different situations at and near the picturesque airport.
For BNS VFX supervisor Vadim Turchin and many studio artists, the first steps in post were to track the live-action scenes and rotoscope the background and the CR-V. A matte painting was created for the background, which was projected onto 3D geometry in Maya. All the elements were then put together in After Effects, along with additional plates, particle effects, and initial color correction. Final color was handled in Autodesk Flame.
See the spot below, and read the release after the break.
A new commercial for Coors new Silver Bullet Aluminum Pint required a lot of special attention from Framestore NY to recreate the NASA shuttle-launch environment for the new product.
The launch sequence begins, the vfx-created ice cubes tumble down to commence the final cooling and the silver pint Silver Bullet Aluminum Pint is cleared for launch. The Framestore team spent a lot of time in post getting the moment of take-off look believable and epic. The boosters fire, smoke billows from under the can, the ground shakes and we have lift-off.
“The volume of VFX in this spot was huge,” Butler said. “The surrounding environment, the bottle, the billowing smoke, the shot of the bottle traveling through space, they all took 100s of layers to render them realistically. But it was all worth it, we love the epic feeling of this spot.”
MPC was involved in the latest Drench commercial that showed a man with the unfortunate affliction of a rubik’s cube style head, trying to drink his favorite beverage while correcting his head. The work was a combination of compositing and motion tracking, a good mix of both physical and CG space.
The moves for the cubehead were carefully choreographed and the actor was then shot in the matching positions to capture his facial expressions – including his head hanging upside down drinking Drench! MPC’s 2D team led by Matthew Unwin was responsible for integrating all the elements to create a realistic head. The puzzle head model was shot in the different combinations and MPC tracked and composited the eyes, mouth, chin and other moving parts using Flame, Nuke and Shake. Skin details were added for more realism and reflections were composited to the walls.
You can see videos of the various stages of the project at FXGuide.
A new television spot for the Scion launch pulled Imaginary Forces together with SWAY Studio to create a fun 3D and 2D spot for televisions, cinemas, and billboards. You can visit the “Take On The Machine” website, or see the video online. The project entailed use of pretty much every major VFX software available, including AfterEffects, Nuke, 3dsMax, FLAME, and their own “Drive-A-Tron” software (a proprietary version of something similar to Craft Animation).
“This project gave us a phenomenal opportunity to build relationships with ATTIK and IF,” commented SWAY’s Powell. “The sheer volume and scope of the project was daunting, but pulling on the combined experience of our hand-selected team, some of whom have worked on 3D feature films like ‘Benjamin Button’ and ‘Alice in Wonderland,’ we were able to execute the visions of Simon and his colleagues at ATTIK.”
Sony has a new ad hitting Europe television viewers right now, showcasing the joy of watching Soccer in 3D. It shows Brazilian star Kaká as he traverses the feed, building speed and strength, before kicking a goal so powerful the goal explodes. It’s cliche, and kinda fun to watch, but is the beginning of something possibly far more annoying.
The ad is airing on both 2D and 3D networks, but on the 2D networks you see the same 3D ad. You see both fields, as though it was projected via a dual-polarized display system, with overlays like “Do not adjust your set” and “This is 3D TV”. At the end, it concludes with “Maybe it’s time to buy a 3D TV”.
I personally think it’s a bad idea for Sony to adopt the goal of annoying users into submission, but I guess Sony’s never been one for making consumer-friendly decisions (MemoryStick anyone?). Guess we’ll have to wait a few months and see if sales show any difference.
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