Post Magazine

October 2013

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 21 of 51

vfx for Commercials Pros use visual effects to explain concepts and entertain audiences. By Christine Bunish W expressed the animals' very active performances. "Previously, the hamsters moved quickly, and you never studied their faces to see their expressions," says Boyd. "Now, they're delivering natural performances, so a huge amount of effort went into the detail and expressions of their faces." That's no mean feat when the critters have "no eyebrows and lips to use in communicating" their emotions, he notes. "We needed really complex rigs to show the nuances." Actors performed the roles of the three chubby and fit hamsters, donning fat suits for the former and wearing blue helmets with tracking markers to assist in 3D head replacement. Jeffrey shot the spot on Arri Alexa. MPC worked closely with Legacy Effects, which crafted furry hands and legs for the hamsters, to make sure the prosthetics' fur matched the fur on the CG heads. "Before, the three hamsters had a consistent fur style but now we had fat hamsters, thin hamsters and a full CG hamster dry and wet," says Boyd. "It was like doing multiple shows, each with a unique look and approval process." Both technical and creative previsualizations were done in gray-scale animation to detail camera placement and measurements, and to see how hether they knock your socks off or are so photoreal that they're undetectable, VFX play key roles in many commercials. VFX transform Kia's beloved hamsters into slick, redcarpet steppers, give a runner wearing Yurbuds earphones amazing landscapes to traverse, track a Ram commercial truck on a precarious drive, follow in the wake of Nike Football superstar Cristiano Ronaldo, indulge in old-school silliness for Old Spice, and graphically illustrate the abilities of IBM's world's smartest computer. Kia's Hamsters In the spot introducing the all-new 2014 Kia Soul, the famous roly-poly, car-driving hamsters are Totally Transformed, emerging from their vehicle onto the red carpet as buff, svelte, chick magnets. Their extensive makeover, including runs on the beach, sessions at the gym and new 'dos at the hairstylist, is intercut with clips of a Kia engineer perfecting each element of the new Soul in his lab. Executive creative director Colin Jeffrey from agency David&Goliath/LA directed the commercial through, with MPC Los Angeles ( handling the VFX. The hamsters "are so much more dynamic" in the new spot, says MPC VFX supervisor/3D lead Andy Boyd. Boyd worked on the last three hamsters spots before joining MPC five months ago; Totally Transformed is his first Kia commercial completed with MPC. The hamsters' newfound dynamism required creating a full-CG hamster for a swimming pool sequence and ensuring that the hamsters' faces 20 Post • October 2013 Totally Transformed: MPC created new hamsters for Kia that appear in a spot promoting the automaker's Soul.

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Post Magazine - October 2013