When German telecommunications giant Deutsche Telekom wanted to tell a story of the increasing interconnectivity of the modern world, they chose an unconventional approach: rather than tell this tale literally, they followed the advice of German agency DDB Tribal and Director Carl Erik Rinsch to convey it as a visual metaphor representing the body, nature and the universe. Rinsch, in turn, turned to MPC LA, confident that the studio could create the spot’s tone and style and execute roughly 35 seconds of pure CG animation in just one month.
The result is a spot of rippling beauty, with a colorful web of energy spreading across the earth, morphing into vast city skylines and then people. Working from references provided by the director, MPC 3D Supervisor Dan Marsh and Concept Artist Casey McIntyre created this spectacle using Houdini and custom procedurals to echo patterns in nature and render hundreds of millions of particles.
The studio simultaneously previsualized the storyboards to explore composition, animation timing, and camera movement. They imported Maya animations into Houdini to create procedural animations and lighting effects. Head of 3D Andy Boyd – who has worked with the director in the past – and Marsh oversaw a team of animators and lighters, while 2D Supervisor Jake Montgomery completed the look in compositing and enhanced it in Flame. MPC LA Colorist Derek Hansen performed color duties for the live action portion of the spot.
“On a one-month production schedule, creating :35 seconds of material from scratch required a focused collaboration,” Marsh said of the team effort. “It was important to set the look in our concept work so that the CG team had a real visual goal to reach given the spot’s abstract look. With everything being full CG, we had a lot of room for creative freedom. Everyone nailed their jobs, and we ended up with a highly original, engrossing spot.”
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Client: Deutsche Telekom AG
Agency: DDB Tribal Germany
Creative Director: Philipp Dietz, Bahador Pakravesh
Head of TV: Meike van Meegen
Film Production: Markenfilm GmbH & CO. KG
Director: Carl Erik Rinsch
Executive Producer: Katie Stiebel
Visual Effect Producer: Chris Fieldhouse / Home
Director of Photography: Ottar Gudnason
Head of 3D: Andy Boyd
3D Supervisor: Dan Marsh
2D Supervisor: Jake Montgomery
Animators: Charles Trippe, Arrev Chentekian, Jelmer Hoekstra, Kirsten Eggleston
Lighting: Andy Boyd, Dan Marsh, Corrine Deorsay
Previs: Tyler Lancaster
Concept Art Lead: Casey McIntryre
Concept Artists: Ram Bhat, Tony Meister,
2D Compositing: Ben Persons, Chris Howard, Ryan Knowles
Telecine: Derek Hansen
Executive Producer: Asher Edwards
Deputy Head of Production: Mike Wigart
VFX Producer: Juliet Tierney
Perfomance Capture & Body VFX: Ghost Town Media
Editorial Co: Cut & Run
Editor: Frank Effron
Assistant Editor: Russell August Anderson