July 1, 2010
THE SKINNY The concept for this commercial for Uby Kotex Platinum range of feminine hygiene products was to visually illustrate a connection between the Platinum vine as it lifts and supports the Platinum woman ending in a dramatic reveal of the Platinum Pack. Creative director Monty Noble and his team at The Brand Shop wanted to create a timeless, organic, elegant, mysterious and visually stunning TVC-a spot that appeals across the board to young and older women. A dream snatched from time where an unusual vine and glass crystals create stunning forms as they grow, supporting and lifting the Platinum woman upwards. The campaign targeted premium, upmarket late teens to middle aged women. THE PRODUCTION The TVC was shot in one day at the Film Australia Studios. We used Vision Research – Phantom HD high speed camera 100fps to 1500+ fps to shoot the TVC. We shot it in digital – 1000fps at 1920×1080 which comes out as a .cine file, which was later converted to DPX. Shooting it in the format we chose allowed us to do speed changes from 1000 fps to 100 fps and back again which gave the characters a floating, softer feel and the look we wanted. However, it was time consuming to manage and convert the huge amount of data involved. Working with the Phantom .cine files in a green screen /chroma key environment also provided challenges in how best to prepare and grade these files. We utilised both Glue Tools plug-in for Final Cut and Iridas raw based colour grading to help make the editorial process in Final Cut an easy work flow and Iridas to create various DPX grades and key passes for compositing. The shot where the female model’s hands and feet interact with the vines was very interesting. The director’s treatment and the agency’s direction meant a gentle caress had to be achieved. We had to make sure that it didn’t look like Jack and the Beanstalk which was harder than it appears. The background was matte painted with Particular and the stars were made to float around in a choreographed manner. We also created the dust around the model and matte painted most of the grass after having shot a small patch. The grass was also roto’d and graded for depth to create a big field feel. We were going for a 3D Platinum vine and crystal flower elements in a surreal, floating, rising environment. Engine collaborated creatively and technically with Director Marcelle Lunam from initial pitch and look development through to final delivery. We developed the crystal vine concept in a series of still images with Marcelle, VFX Supervisor Grant Everett and 3D Lead Nick Kaloterakis working closely together to bring the concept to life. In pre production Engine created a series of animated growing vines as R&D to identify the right “feel” and also give an indication of the amount of rigging controls needed. Engine developed the design and provided onset VFX Supervision, Editing, Raw Data handling and grading along with 3D animatics, 3D vine creation and animation through to carefully crafted and composited frames by 2D lead Kent Smith. THE POST The shoot was green screen with a model so 95% was achieved in post, which took about fi ve weeks. The 3D Platinum vine and crystal flower elements were created in Maya and rendered in Mental Ray. The background particle elements were created in Particular with compositing in Smoke. It was edited in Final Cut Pro. The wide shot was great and a real challenge. It had over 600 individual leaves and vines that Engine had to take care of. There was lots of fine hair to be keyed, clothing enhancements and cosmetic changes to the model including extending her fingernails and altering her skin. There were also complexities and subtleties in combining different textures to get the desired balance of metal, glass and tissue papers along with making sure everything looked metallic and light. There was lots of texturing and overlays and we had to make sure the look of the vines was metallic and not plastic, all the while creating a lightness within the frame to avoid it looking too heavy. We did lots of testing between 2D and 3D and worked very closely with the client and director to make sure the look was exactly right.