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Infiniti ‘Factory of Life’

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Directed by award -winning director Dante Ariola, INFINITI’S latest spot launches the brand new Q50 model. Method were excited to work on this VFX heavy ad, which takes the viewer through a hi-tech factory of conformity, rules and production. Rows and rows of identical luxury car drivers line up to be issued a vehicle, but a sudden glitch in the system allows one individual to break free from conventionality to escape in the new Q50. Daniel Pardo, Group Account Director of INFINITI at TBWA/ChiatDay, comments: “We wanted drivers to realize they can experience luxury while not having to conform to the rigid constraints of an average luxury vehicle."

VFX HEAVY


Out of the 55 shots that appear in the 60 second commercial, 45 shots required VFX. It was therefore essential that Method’s team constructed a water tight production plan that allowed them to deliver a polished looking TV commercial along with a 30 second cinema version which aired much earlier, within the required timeframe.

VFX Supervisor Benjamin Walsh led the Method crew. “The deadlines were tight and the scope of VFX work was pretty vast” he notes. “We had a long list including CG robots, digital doubles and matte painted set extensions but the team rose to the occasion to turn out a great looking ad.”

PLANNING AHEAD


The creative brief was to construct an environment which felt like an intimidating industrial factory. The shoot involved a large set and Ben worked closely with Dante to determine the best approach for the CG enhancements. Ben comments, “There were 90 extras on set and knowing we were going to have to duplicate them, either in 2D or with digital doubles, we made the choice early on to choose rotoscoping over green screen compositing. This approach was taken knowing there was going to be plenty of reflective surfaces like glass and metal in the set. In addition, the walls of the stage were a similar color to the set so there was a chance that for some of the longer lens shots we would get away without set extensions.”

PRACTICAL REPLACEMENTS


During the commercial, several CG robotic arms interact with the actors and their clothing. Practical rigging would be replaced by 3D animations so the practical props, along with the set itself, were surveyed during the shoot. This data was sent back straight away to the CG team at Method to give them a head start.

“The animation team was stellar” says CG Supervisor Robert Nederhorst. “'Due the short turn around we purposely scaled up the amount of artists in our tracking/layout department at the start of the job. This allowed our animators to block out rough compositions and movement early in the schedule to give the director, agency and client a chance for feedback. This streamlined the approval process and resulted in a very successful collaboration all round.”

Co-founder of Company 3 (Method's sister company), Stefan Sonnenfeld completed the grade on the spot.


Keywords

  • Motion Graphics
  • Environments
  • Hard surface
  • Compositing
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