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Commercials that play out during the Super Bowl, have in recent years, become as exciting and eagerly anticipated as the game itself. This entertaining spot for Bridgestone obtained much acclaim and firmly established Method’s VFX Supervisor, Andy Boyd as an expert on furry CG creatures.


For this spot, Method Studios was asked to create a digital squirrel that almost becomes road kill as he retrieves a fallen acorn from the road. The squirrel, a number of other forest animals and a female passenger all scream out in fear while the driver, who has confidence in his Bridgestone tires, easily swerves around the frightened animal.

Working under a tight six week schedule, Boyd and the Method artists created a number of digital animals including the squirrel that would be cut against a live-action squirrel. To make things even more challenging the squirrel’s scream would be a close-up shot in HD that would leave nothing to the imagination.

Boyd spent a great deal of his efforts fine tuning the hair of the squirrel. He imported the squirrel model into Houdini and fixed smoothing problems using customized fur procedural modeling tools. The procedural was then used to generate about 1.5 million hairs.

While the squirrel’s scream is obviously something you would never see in real life – it was important that the animation had a certain amount of ‘realism’ while still cartoon like in nature. Boyd was able to achieve a look that director Kinka Usher was pleased with and thanks to the high rankings in the ad charts, it looks like the critics agreed.


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