Advertising in stereoscopic 3D just became a whole lot sexier thanks to SUSPECT and fashion brand Armani | Exchange. In "Speed Style", the fashion world's first-ever 3D campaign, the New York-based creative studio turned a rendezvous in a smoky, surreal tunnel between two lusty, young lovers into a heady experience unlike anything seen before.
Following extensive VFX involvement on the first 3D music video for Latin Grammy Award-winning recording artist Daddy Yankee and a comedic :30 sports-centric spot from Wieden + Kennedy featuring LA Dodger outfielder Andre Ethier, SUSPECT was well prepared for the challenges of working in the 3D space. Still, the Armani | Exchange film provided learning opportunities as the studio further developed its capabilities in this rapidly evolving realm.
The footage was shot on a Brooklyn sound stage over three days, blending traditional single-camera techniques with native two camera stereoscopic rig. SUSPECT developed a bevy of techniques to accentuate the project's stereoscopic aspects: rebuilding sets to create environments that had significantly more depth; extending existing camera moves or creating them where none existed; amplifying subtle lighting enhancements by creating new light sources with stereoscopic lens flares that created a dramatic new sense of composition; and taking several monoscopic 2D shots and dimensionalizing them so they existed in stereoscopic 3D like the rest of the film. SUSPECT went on to add layers of mist and beauty retouching. "Stereoscopic 3D takes retouching to an entirely new level of difficulty; the work has to be done identically for both the left and right eye in order to get the most natural and beautiful results," notes SUSPECT's Sr. Flame Artist Jason Cunningham.
"From the outset of the project, the creative team at Armani embraced stereoscopic 3D as a legitimate new medium," noted SUSPECT EP Rob Appelblatt. "When executed properly, it is an engaging and very striking experience unlike that of traditional broadcast media."
SUSPECT used Flame for the stereoscopic compositing and finishing. Several scenes required 3D modeling and animation, which they executed in Maya and additional tracking and alignment programs.
"The real challenge is in crafting a scene that fully explores the 3D space," stated CD Tim Crean. "The stereoscopic lens flares we created were a good example of this. In traditional 2D compositing, we don't think much about light traveling across a physical space and where lens artifacts exist in relation to other objects and their origin. In the stereoscopic world this is extremely important, especially when you want to have sexy lighting that originates in the far background, yet still wraps and bleeds around the edges of objects or actors in the foreground. Utilizing 2D projection techniques in combination with 3D objects within stereoscopic space, we created the sense of light traveling from its background source through the scene to the foreground while nestling various anamorphic artifacts at different depths. It was a real challenge but ultimately was a very, very cool effect that really enhanced our shots."
Armani | Exchange's 3D campaign premiered in September via ads in GQ, Interview and V magazines. Pop out 3D glasses embedded in print ads allow viewers to experience 3D elements on the company's website, on loop in store windows, video screens in cities around the country, and on a billboard atop the Long Island Expressway in New York.