JCPenny Crowdsurfing

A fun project done in Los Angeles office for JCPeeney where choreography was the name of the game, maintaining the crowd still yet alive and being able to pass people from hand to hand. Very interesting technical exercise for beautiful and playful commercial.

Of course many of the shots are a combination of live action with 3D crowds done with Massive and the main rule is to use as much real people live action as possible, thenextend with the crowd system to give the scale the director requires.


I had to work out the animation of the characters as there was no time to do another mocap session and then do all the importing of actions and cleanup, therefore we did animate a few characters by hand to add all the required actions for this job and while some agents were moving their arms and pushing something down the road another set of new agents were reacting to them by being flat and contacting the hands. Needless to say the weight feeling was the real obstacle here but with a combination of IK contact I managed to sell the idea of those guys carrying some surfers.


In this shot the first area and the bridge are real and we just did extend the second train rail and the main rail in the back.


And of course as the actions of those spectators was already on the library of motion it was fairly easy to assemble the shot and trigger the standing with an animated sound wave.


And for this river snake shot we had to so some interesting blending of our CG crowd with the real one that was shot in various plates, along the way we had to sort out the contact between our CG crowd and the grass and water but the heavy side of it was mostly a compositing job.


Director: Ringam Ledwidge
Agency: Saatchi NY
Production: Rattling Stick
Task: Crowds Lead

Jordi Bares Written by:

Jordi Bares is a Creative Director/VFX Supervisor working for Framestore on some amazing projects.