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Method brings 'More Soul' to KIA spotAug 28, 2011

Method artists create a world of dancing robot armies and hamsters for KIA

We've just completed work on what is bound to be one of 2011's standout commercials, 'Share Some Soul,' via agency David & Goliath, promoting the KIA Soul which debuted during the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards. Featuring the wildly popular hamsters from previous KIA commercials, the new spot also features two sets of robot armies engaging in a fantastic dance battle to LMFAO's ubiquitous club smash 'Party Rock Anthem'. Working with acclaimed director Mark Romanek, Method Studios took AnonymousContent's designs and created the dancing robot armies as well as the spot's battlefield environment.

In addition to taking on the challenge of creating an all-CG world with all-CG characters, Method had to complete the job in a very tight time frame. "The scope and ambition of this spot was definitely challenging considering the extensive amount of CG required in a short time," said VFX Supervisor Nordin Rahhali. "There were a lot of full CG shots as well as plenty of character animation and motion capture."

Method's extensive experience with CG creatures and photorealistic fur was crucial to the success of the spot. Dancers in practical suits were filmed for the hamster scenes but the hamsters' heads, hats and hands were all replaced and recreated in CG. A two-person team created the fur and handled all the lighting and rendering for the hamsters, which is a testament to the efficiency of the Method creature pipeline.

Motion capture was used to create the robot armies' dance moves, which were further refined to make the dancers look more robotic. Most of the environment was comprised of digital matte paintings projected within Nuke to allow for limited camera movements.

 

The team was thrilled to work with Romanek. "It was exciting working with Mark," offered Rahhali. "He had a lot of ideas and he gave us a lot of great feedback. We faced many challenges, but it was gratifying to successfully collaborate with him on this project." Company 3 co-founder/colorist Stefan Sonnenfeld performed color grading for the spot.

VFX Producer Mike Wigart added, "you couldn't ask for anything more out of a VFX-heavy project. Aliens, robots, dancing hamsters, there's something for everyone. I hope we get to do a sequel."

 
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