Method Studios Provides VFX Expertise To Kia Super Bowl SpotsFeb 4, 2013
Method Studios was excited to collaborate with agency David&Goliath on two commercials for Kia Motors which premiered during Super Bowl XLVII. ‘Space Babies’, for the redesigned 2014 Sorento SX Limited, directed by Jake Scott (RSA), and ‘Hotbots’ for the all-new 2014 Forte compact sedan, directed by Carl Erik Rinsch (MJZ) provided a wealth of inspiring VFX challenges to Method's creative team in Los Angeles. Stephanie Gilgar, Method Studios' Executive Producer comments, "It's an honor to have been entrusted to deliver two VFX-heavy ads seen during this year's big game – a yearly highlight in the US television commercials industry."
‘Space Babies’, which aired during the fourth quarter of the Super Bowl, involves a six-year-old boy posing the classic question "Where do babies come from?". Caught off guard, his Dad conjures up the wondrous tale of ‘Babylandia’ in an attempt to answer his curious child. To visualize the mystical planet, the Method team developed CGI environments, rocket ships and a host of infant creatures, including penguins, elephants, pandas, giraffes, hippos and more.
"It was important to Jake and David & Goliath that the CG world and animals retain an element of whimsy," said Mike Wigart, Method VFX producer. “We needed to create something realistic while making sure it has a sense of something imagined.” Method VFX Supervisor Andy Boyd adds, "from a VFX standpoint, it was all-encompassing: CG animals, vehicles, clothing, environmental elements, matte painting, compositing – it was amazing to see the project well-executed across so many different areas of expertise – ‘Space Babies’ was a huge team effort.”
Kia’s second ad that aired in the Big Game was for the 2014 Kia Forte compact sedan, which debuted during the third quarter. Method's focus for this spot was to conceptualize and construct the ‘Hotbots’ – a futuristic take on an auto show model who is overly protective of the attractive Forte. VFX Supervisor Benjamin Walsh notes "After discussions with Carl and the agency creatives, we concluded that the best methodology was to shoot practical models and track CG mechanical components on top. We combined the best features from around 20 different concept designs to come up with a unique and sexy looking Hotbot.”
With the success of CG skin lighting tests, it was determined that only the live action heads and dresses of the models would be kept and the arms, chest and legs would be replaced entirely. This meant very precise animation was required to match up the 3D limbs with the live action. Attention was paid to crafting the mechanics of the joints and the vein-like wires which glow blue with energy.
During post production, Method Studios linked in with Company 3 and Stefan Sonnenfeld who
provided the final color grade for both commercials. The grading of Space
Babies was of particular importance during the multi-step look development
process with Method, which offered the Kia clients creative input as the