Post Magazine

January 2016

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COMMERCIAL APPEAL 44 POST JANUARY 2016 foliage, dirt and other real-world environ- mental details. FuseFX acquired a series of scans of actual riverbeds with textures to help create the digital environment faster. "These details helped make the Jeep and environment feel complex and believable," Anderson says. The camera "played like a character" throughout the spot, alternating between "angles to make the car look cool" and some slo-mo moments, which highlight- ed the various components, he points out. FuseFX used Autodesk 3DS Max for modeling and animation, V-Ray for rendering and Nuke for compositing. The studio's experience with Skoal went a long way in aiding them to efficiently craft CG environments for the teaser for the "Marlboro Push West Instant Win Game & Sweepstake" de- signed for smartphones and tablets. The all-digital teaser, which played only on mobile devices armed with the MHQ app, followed cars racing down a road, zoomed out to an aerial map marked by 'winner' signs and pushed back in to show roadside challenges faced by the vehicles exploring Marlboro Country. "From Skoal we knew the upper limits of our rendering capacity, and we learned a lot of lessons in lighting — what makes environments sing," says Anderson. "A couple of shots definitely fooled people: the three cars weaving in and out to camera is an example of how good camera work and CG lighting can make digital cars look like real cars shot practically." The digital cars were designed from scratch to look like "the muscle cars of old, customized with more modern ele- ments," he notes. Real satellite imagery was blended with digital landscapes to create a sense of traveling vast distanc- es. For the Marlboro teaser, FuseFX deployed the same software toolset as it used for Skoal. KING AND COUNTRY — MOTEL 6 Motel 6 does more than keep the lights on for you in its latest spot from The Richards Group. Directed by Efrain Montanez of Santa Monica's King and Country (K&C) (www.kingandcountry. tv), Room to Room highlights Motel 6's nationwide renovations in a seamless room-to-room journey that epitomizes the magic of transformation animation. The spot follows guests who check into a freshly refurbished Motel 6. Through a series of what Montanez calls "in-the-nick-of-time gags," the trav- elers are oblivious to the motel's chang- es, which happen right before they inter- act with the rooms. The camera climbs the wall behind the front desk, which becomes the floor of a room whose modular furniture moves into place as guests enter; the woman flops on the bed, which spins to become the base of a computer desk used by another guest who's making a video call home. The mirror behind her desk becomes the wall of another room supporting a big screen TV; the camera pans up the wall, which becomes the wall of the outdoor swim- ming pool. A boy cannonballs into the water and the camera plunges with him; the bottom of the pool turns into the bottom of a basin in a bathroom where another guest washes his face. K&C's strength as a one-stop shop for live-action direction and heavy VFX work has allowed it to do a number of spots for Motel 6, including the previous 50th anniversary road trip Metamorphosis commercial. For the new spot, the agency approached K&C with an idea for a seamless camera move that showed all the travelers arriving at a renovat- ed Motel 6. Since the anniversary spot showed "vehicles and gadgets and wardrobes transforming over 50 years, we came up with the idea for the rooms to transform" in the new spot as well, Montanez explains. Not wanting to give the impression that construction was still underway at Motel 6, the concept depicted renova- tions that were completed just as guests arrived. "It was important that the reno- vations not appear intrusive to potential travelers staying at Motel 6s across the country," he notes. Montanez and his crew shot the exterior, main lobby and pool at a Motel 6 property on a one-day location shoot in Carson, CA. Then they moved to Universal Studios, Hollywood for two days where they built room sets and deployed a turntable and Gazelle motion control rig. K&C VFX supervisor Andrew Cook's decision to lay the motion control track in a single location that would work for all of the sets without being re-con- figured or moved was the key to shoot- ing the rooms quickly and efficiently. "This type of planning and preparation for this shoot was not only critical but also made it possible to get all of our shots within budget for our two-day stage shoot," Montanez reports. In and attempt to push the camera moves to the limit, K&C built all of the motion control moves during previs. Then to ensure the moves would work on the shoot days, they were verified and dropped into the system by Pacific Motion Control. King and Country relied on Houdini water simulations for this Motel 6 spot.

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