A wonderful idea for one of the best brands in the world, executed in a fabulous way with some little help from post-production effects, not much though.
This commercial has been a long journey of a very talented little team trying their best to hold to the beauty of the plates, of course some stuff could not be done due to logistics of the whole operation, probably the most complex shoot i have ever seen and probably also one of the most demanding physically as we were 3200m high so even breathing was a problem, but after all, it has been one big great job i had the luck to work at.
An interesting question on such a challenge is how to bring those book and build this structure, if you imagine the weight of it you can easily see it is just not possible within such an small structure, for this we actually shoot a wireframe that helped the director frame the shoot, the editor assemble a very tight edit that didn’t need much changes and of course everybody had a very clear idea of what to do.
The books were actually done with Houdini given that I did envision many changes down the road as this is the nature of CG, you can change your mind anytime isn’t it? well, that is not really true as it may have huge implications but on a job like this we did count for it so the size of books, number of pages, animation positioning within the frame, the frame itself, the textures, the uvs were all generated procedurally with the help of a top Houdini artist that made our rig a reality.
And as you see here we did integrate our CG books and structure with the live action plates trying to mimic the lighting as much as possible with the help of HDR panoramas that were shoot on a Canon 5D with an special tripod.
Another interesting fact is the page count, as you can see there are an average of 300 pages per book so we ended up with tens of thousands of pages, the render was with full motion blur and raytracing to get the very fine nuances of contact between pages which was a major render… well, actually… i was shocked how amazing Mantra was dealing with it and made me very happy as I could now worry only about the animation rather than the rendering to the point that the back books were also rendered the same way given that we needed the shadows to have pages and motion blur too for the back side of the rig.
And as you can see the cars were real, we actually rig the cars to be able to reset fast but with just 4 takes we did capture the shot as we were using 4 cameras at the same time. Quite an amazing day that was!
Director: Nicolai Fuglsig Agency: AMV/BBDO Production: MJZ London Task: VFX Supervisor