Global creative agency ATTIK recently launched a new cross-media brand campaign for Scion featuring a high-profile television spot with visual effects from Pixomondo.
Having worked with ATTIK co-founder and executive creative director Simon Needham on several previous Scion projects, Pixomondo VFX Supervisor Aaron Powell was intimately familiar with the entire product line and stylistic tendencies of the brand. In preproduction, the Pixomondo team spent considerable time building physical mobiles and shooting reference footage of different materials to determine the best approach for the spot’s visual effects. From that, they built 3D versions of those elements and fine-tuned the previs to establish camera movement, which was used as a basis for the live-action shoot that was directed by Needham. Powell was on set for the five days of filming that captured footage of the cars and footage for the moving photographs. As soon as shooting wrapped, Pixomondo artists immediately set to work tracking the footage and recreating the FR-S in CG from CAD data to create the mobile effect.
“We received detailed info for the FR-S so we could proceed quickly and make things look great almost from the get go,” Powell explained. “With the basics out of the way, we were able to spend several weeks finessing and fine-tuning the project, which is an incredibly rare luxury. There was a heavy emphasis on realism, and I think we were able to seamlessly integrate all the elements – environment, background, vehicles – to make it feel completely authentic.”
An additional challenge that Pixomondo artists faced was figuring out how to achieve the right look for the subtle movement in the images. Featuring real people Scion currently supports, including artists, musicians and designers, the photographs provide visual reference for the “What Moves You” campaign – channeling distinct stories behind the Scion brand and its principals. Pixomondo first processed each photo to give it extra life and then incorporated it in a way that the movement of the image would not be lost in the motion of the camera.
“The spot set up was ideal for a car commercial because we filmed in a very clean environment, so there wasn’t much shot contamination to deal with. Instead of the glitz and glam in traditional car ads, we were able to focus more on artistic side of the spot – telling the Scion story through pictures, camera moves and pacing,” concluded Powell.