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Nike ‘Winter Wonderland’

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Directed by the award -winning Rupert Sanders, Nike’s latest spot showcases their Hyperwarm range, as modeled by a collection of sportsmen and women, undeterred by the chill of winter weather.

Method took on a wide variety of VFX tasks for this spot including creating CG stadiums and crowds and enhancing the wintry conditions with digital environments, snow, mist and frosty breath.

Feeling frosty


Since the commercial was shot in autumn, VFX Supervisor Benjamin Walsh’s brief was to create winter conditions and enhance snowy environments for the various athletes to enjoy in their Hyperwarm gear.

“One point of emphasis from Rupert was to create realistic looking CG breath and snow that could never be distracting” notes Ben.  “After collecting reference videos of people speaking, running and riding bikes in the cold, we observed that the more the breath was affected by the wind, the more interesting it looked. Having the detail of these conflicting directional forces created a realistic turbulence that we were very happy with.”

Filling with fans


One of the main challenges included creating the Ohio state stadium packed with enthusiastic fans in full CGI. Of particular importance was the final shot of the ad which was to show a wide overhead shot of the venue. On the high school location, the crew shot a plate of the players from a cherry picker 100ft in the air but soon realized this wasn’t going to create the drama the climax deserved. Subsequently a helicopter shot was decided upon which required Method to create a full digital environment.

The VFX crew immediately started work on a nighttime aerial matte painting of the stadium and its surrounding environment covered in snow. Ben comments, “After roughing together the camera move, Rupert and the agency gave us the green light on the shot. We proceeded to simulate CG snow falling past camera and blowing off the stadium roofs, and a Massive crowd was populated around the exterior of the field and throughout the stadium.”

The team also added fine details such as CG cars and lights to the matte painted background to bring it to life. Finally, the only live action element of the shot was composited - the players on the field, which was further enhanced with an embedded Nike snow logo to round off the spot.


Keywords

  • Environments
  • Crowd simulation
  • FX
  • Compositing
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