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Method steps into the 'Arena' with VerizonSep 9, 2011

Our artists create CG robots for spot promoting the new Droid Bionic phone

Method's Los Angeles office recently completed work on 'Arena,' an action-filled spot for Verizon - via agency mcgarrybowen - promoting the new Droid Bionic smart phone. Directed by Noam Murro, the :60 contains 68 VFX shots and the :90 111 shots. With such a VFX-heavy spot, determining what the robots and the surrounding environment would look like posed the biggest challenge to the Method team.

In the spot, a female warrior in a futuristic arena battles with and defeats a variety of robots. In doing so she takes a piece from each robot body and combines them to form the new Droid Bionic phone. Method worked alongside the creatives at Legacy FX who were heavily involved in the design of the robots. "Any time you have an all-green screen set, opinions will vary on how things should look," said Method VFX Supervisor Sean Faden. "We completed a lot of concept work prior to the shoot and added extra detail when more was needed."

With respect to the challenges of creating an all-digital realistic environment, Method Senior Creative Director Dan Glass also contributed to the process. Says Faden, "he was instrumental in helping us define the look of the arena and taking the initial CG renders and comp look dev to the next level." Company 3 co-founder/colorist Stefan Sonnenfeld took a first pass at grading the spot and fellow Company 3 colorist Tom Poole performed final grading.

The environments and robots were rendered in V-Ray, while effects were created in Houdini and rendered in Mantra. Compositing was done in Nuke and Flame and tracking was done in PFTrack.

The Method team enjoyed a great rapport with Murro as well the creatives at mcgarrybowen. "Designing robots from scratch was a fun challenge," offered Faden. "We're all extremely pleased with the spot and look forward to seeing it everywhere!"

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