MPC recently teamed up with David&Goliath and on an ambitious overhaul of Kia’s famous hamsters. Directed by David&Goliath executive creative director Colin Jeffery, MPC handled all VFX work and finishing on the spot, which introduces the all-new 2014 Kia Soul.

Totally Transformed follows the overweight hamsters through a total fitness makeover, from the gym to the pool to the barbershop, mirroring the efforts of a Kia engineer as he perfects each element of the new Soul in a far-off lab. These dual makeover montages collide in the final scene, where the three now-stylish and svelte hamster mascots swagger from their flashy overhauled Kia Soul onto a red carpet.

From pre-previs to the final grade, MPC created the hamsters and seamlessly integrated them into Jeffery’s live-action footage. Each shot was pre-visualized with an emphasis on performance, which helped inform the approach to directing actors on the shoot. Special attention was paid to ensuring realism for the hamsters’ look; MPC artists implemented a custom fur and physically-based shader set up to create photoreal characters in live action environments.

The story required MPC artists to push their set up a step further than previous incarnations of the Hamster series. A sequence involving a hamster diving into and swimming through water proved to be an engaging challenge for the team, requiring heavy duty real world solutions. “We really wanted to bring the personality out of the hamsters so we built advanced facial and body muscle rigs to achieve fluid integration with the live action,” recalled VFX Supervisor and 3D Lead Andy Boyd, “the result needed to be unnoticeable – like you’ve seen a giant hamster in a speedo and goggles before, and we happened to get some nice shots of it!”

The spot will air in cinemas and on TV, with an extended version available on YouTube.

About MPC:
MPC is a creative studio.

We craft spectacular visual experiences in any space, on any screen.

We have been one of the global leaders in VFX for over 25 years, with industry-leading facilities in London, Vancouver, Los Angeles, New York and Bangalore.

Renowned for adding visual wonder and creative expertise to the advertising, film and entertainment industries, some of our most famous projects include blockbuster movies such as the “Harry Potter” franchise, “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides,” “Prometheus” and “Life of Pi,” and famous advertising campaigns for brands such as Evian, Cadbury, Sony, Coca Cola and John Lewis.

Our broad range of skill-sets provide a multitude of creative solutions, including concept design, pre-viz, shoot supervision, 2D compositing, 3D/CG effects, animation, motion design, software development, digital and experiential production, colour grading for advertising and any combination of these services.

MPC is the sum of the parts: creative partners and a range of creative solutions harnessed through a dedication to collaboration. It all comes together in our enthusiastic and talented people, working every day to be a part of creating some of the best and most inspirational work in the industry.

MPC is a Technicolor company.

Brand and Product: Kia | 2014 Soul Title: “Totally Transformed” Length and versions: :90, :60 and :30 Agency: David & Goliath Chief Creative Officer: David Angelo Executive Creative Director: Colin Jeffery CD/Copywriter: Gary DuToit CD/Art Director: Eron Broughton ACD/Copywriter: Greg Buri ACD/Art Director: Basil Cowieson ACD/Art Director: Kristian Grove Møller Executive Producer, Managing Director: Carol Lombard Executive Producer: Paul Albanese Managing Partner, Client Services: Brian Dunbar Group Account Director: Brook Dore Account Director: Justin Manfredi Account Supervisor: Nancy Ramirez Account Executive: Kammie Dons Associate Strategic Planning Director: Steven Garcia Sr. Planner: Armando Potter Production Company: Director: Colin Jeffery Executive Producer: Frank Scherma Producer: Kathy Rhodes Director of Photography: Toby Irwin Production Designer: Brock Houghton Wardrobe Stylist: Christina Blackaller Special EFX: Legacy Effects Editorial: Rock Paper Scissors Editor: Angus Wall Executive Producer: CL Weaver Producer: Toby Louie Assistant Editor: Austyn Daines VFX: MPC VFX Supervisor/ 3D Lead: Andy Boyd Compositing Supervisor: Jake Montgomery Animation Lead: Stew Burris Animator/ Rigger: Ian Wilson Animator: Jean-Dominque Fievet Lighter(s): William Schilthuis, Shaun Comly Texture: Hayley O’Neil Modeler: Aaron Hamman 3D FX: Charles Trippe Tracking: Mike Wynd Compositor(s): Clement Renaudin, Jason Heinz, Brendan Smith Smoke Artist: Mark Holden Roto: R. Balakrishnan, Felix, R. Rajinkanth, C. Rajkumar, S. Sundaramoorthy. S. Sugumar, Vishai Kaushai 3D Tracking: D. Venkatesan, Ganesh Kumar, Jacob Oommen, Sathya Narayanan Telecine: Mark Gethin Executive Producer: Asher Edwards VFX Producer: Nicole Fina Record Label: Interscope Records Artist: Lady Gaga Sound Design: Hammers Project Sound Designer: Johannes Hammers Music Editing: Massive Music Audio Mix: Margarita Mix Mixer: Nathan Dubin Magazine Covers Courtesy of: Wired / Condé Nast Rolling Stone / Wenner Media LLC Men’s Health / Rodale