MPC recently completed a commercial that shows orange fabric draping over popular
American landmarks to promote the slogan that AT&T covers “97 percent of all Americans”,
smoothly combining live action, 2D compositing and 3D CGI.
|Click to enlarge|
A partnership had to form rapidly between production company Traktor, BBDO New York, Editor Paul Martinez at Arcade and MPC in Los Angeles. The plan was formulated to shoot some of the fabric on large models, shot high speed that would later be composited onto the live action element, hoping this would take the pressure off creating full, photo-real cloth. These elements worked particularly well on St Louis Arch, Hollywood Sign and beach scenes, but the process was less effective on the larger structures, resulting in 3D support.
At the end of each shoot day, the agency and Traktor agreed on a live action plate that MPC should move forward with in visual effects, inclusive of relevant handles. The creatives and directors used Photoshop to draw on the 2K scan image to show the artists where they would like to see orange fabric. This saved time going back and forth approving ‘coverage’ areas and direction of roll movement.
The live action plate was also camera tracked in 3D and passed onto the motion control camera operator. This camera track was imported into the motion control rig and the exact same camera move was carried out over the enlarged fabric model on a studio day.
Paul Martinez continued editing the full 30 second spot while they were able to test CGI cloth simulations and commence essential rotoscoping / clean up. By the time the edit was fully client approved, they had a good head start on several key VFX shots. The CGI team created a Maya cloth script that could simulate realistic vertical and horizontal rolls, with wind and surface resistance. While render time was slow, the script helped the 3D team control the parameters of the simulation. It was then the compositing team’s job to integrate all the CG & model elements using Nuke and Flame. www.moving-picture.com
Post Production Co: MPC LA