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January 2016

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COMMERCIAL APPEAL 45 POST JANUARY 2016 Montanez says it made sense to furnish the room sets with only the props the actors interacted with: a sink, a bed, chairs, a desk, a mirror and the floor. Everything else was created in CG. A particularly tricky shot had the cam- era moving in an arc around the woman engaged in a video chat back home. "We used the motion control rig and turntable moving together to swing around her," Montanez recalls. "Her reflection in the mirror was captured by the guy on the turntable bringing up the glass at exactly the right moment to see her and keep the mirror out of view of the camera." For the underwater pool shot on-loca- tion they used a Hydrascope telescoping crane with amphibian head for a smooth, quick plunge that follows the boy's dive. The transition from the bottom of the pool to the bottom of the bathroom basin was accomplished by building a vanity counter with a hole for the cam- era. The towel rack the guest makes a grab for was a prop, but the rest of the bathroom was created in CG, including Side Effects' Houdini water simulations. The spot concludes with a "doll house" view showing a cross-section of four rooms where the guests are tucking in for the night. K&C built four sets elevated in the same stage space and used the motion control rig to capture different perspectives of the four rooms then rotate to match the animated Motel 6 end tag. "We shot at 6K on the Red Epic Dragon, which allowed us to capture shots slightly wider than we needed for repositioning and framing with digital zooms," explains Montanez. The K&C team used Maya for modeling and animation, Nuke for compositing, Adobe Premiere for editing and Adobe After Effects and Nuke for the conform; they worked with Company 3 for color correction. ZOIC STUDIOS — GSK In a reboot of Little Red Riding Hood, pharmaceutical giant GSK tells the tale of a modern suburban grandmother who turns into a wolf when her new grand- child, dressed all in red, comes to visit. But in Big Bad Cough, grandma is an in- advertent villain: She doesn't know she's coming down with whooping cough, which can endanger the baby. Grandma is unaware of the problem when she coughs while knitting and wait- ing for her family to arrive, but viewers see her head turn into a wolf's head during the coughing spell. And when she cradles the baby for the first time her head again transforms into a wolf's head, albeit one with a loving expression, as she unknowingly exposes the baby to whooping cough. The "Big Bad Cough" campaign from Ogilvy launched with print and online advertising followed by a TV commercial directed by Terry Rietta of Gartner. Zoic Studios LA ( was charged with grandma's lycan transfor- mation, a simple yet complex task since this was no storybook Big Bad Wolf. "We had to toe the line," says lead CG artist Scott Rosekrans. "They wanted her to have a kind side since she's an inadvertent Big Bad Wolf. She couldn't be in-your-face scary." To achieve this, Rosekrans took cues from the actor's own hair and facial features, reflecting her appearance in the wolf. "We've done a few wolves in the past but they were all very aggressive," he notes. "This time we pulled a lot of reference footage of wolves doing reg- ular things. We tried to use as much of the actor's performance as we could in the CG and matchmoved the head to her performance." The actor was shot wearing tracking markers to aid in the head replacement. Director Rietta provided clean plates of the room sets as well. Zoic assembled a small, tight-knit team for the project: VFX supervisor Ryan McDonald, Rosekrans, hair and fur artist Christina Murguia, and lead Flame artist Toby Brockhurst in LA, and tracker and matchmover David Windhorst at Zoic Vancouver. The spot marked one of the first jobs Zoic did with Peregrine Labs' Yeti software designed for fur, feathers and hair. "The commercial was a really good test bed for us even though it was just two shots," says Rosekrans. He hails Yeti's grooming tools and node graph, which enable an artist to "go back to any point in the groom and make adjustments on the fly. Yeti also gave us the ability to grow the hair. So, when grandma is coughing, instead of just wiping her face on and off the wolf hair grows out of her face," he explains. One of the challenges was "the blend points" where there was wolf fur over and under grandma's blouse, says Rosekrans. They built a digital double of grandma as a placeholder for their own use so they could get the fur to interact as needed with her clothing. Zoic also built transition frames for grandma's transformation. "If you slow down the footage, you'll see in-between shots where it's 75 percent grandma/25 percent wolf, then more 50/50. This informed the final shape of the wolf, too," says Rosekrans. Modeling and animation were done in Maya; tracking and matchmoving in Maya in Vancouver where Zoic's office per- forms those tasks for all kinds of projects. Rendering was done in V-Ray 3.0. Toby Brockhurst says his Flame com- positing was "quick and smooth." He was provided with EXR files of the animation and multiple live-action passes; he per- formed some "subtle" color correction on the footage and added "a bit more high- light" to sell grandma's transformation. "All the R&D — lighting, texturing, shading — required for the print compo- nent, which launched the campaign, was incorporated into the TV spot" establish- ing an efficient continuum for the Zoic team, he notes. "Once the look was defined for print, it took us two to three weeks to turn the print CG into a commercial." Zoic, relying on Peregrine Labs' Yeti software for fur and hair, turned grandma into the Big Bad Wolf in this GSK pharmaceutical spot.

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