Santa Monica, CA, November 30, 2006 - Voodoo, a leading effects company specializing in the creation, production and compositing of original visual FX for national and regional TV commercials, music videos, TV programs and feature films, recently completed FX featured within a new Baby Ruth candy bar TV spot. The announcement was made by Chris Kern, Executive Producer and Visual Effects Supervisor of Voodoo.
On behalf of client Dailey and Associates and Creative Director Rich Bronshvag, Voodoo added 40,000 people to fill Dodger Stadium! These "Added People" were each holding a Baby Ruth candy bar - the bar‘s new blue and silver packaging being prominently featured.
Said Rich Bronshvag, “Certainly there are a number of post-houses out there that do this kind of work, but we went with Voodoo for the level of detail they were willing to commit themselves to. And in retrospect, what they were able to achieve for us from just one day‘s worth of shooting was impressive - not just from a compositing standpoint, but in capturing the true fabric of crowds. It took a lot of work to get it right, but once they committed themselves to the project, they didn‘t compromise on anything, and were gracious in even dealing with a few late-arriving comments.”
Added Melissa Puls, Dailey and Associates producer, “The success of this spot begins with director Buddy Cone, who so completely understood the needs and the vision of the project, and then worked closely with the full visual effects and editorial team helped make what could have been a difficult project run smoothly. The challenge of the job was that it was crucial to the concept to give this commercial a 'big' look in terms of scope of production. Voodoo and Crush were committed to creating the look that we all expected, fully utilizing their broad scope of services with a team of talented people who worked together with us from award of job through final mix and everything in between. Despite a modest budget, we were able to accomplish much more simply due to Chris Kern and his team and their commitment to create the vision successfully."
Chris Kern, Voodoo‘s Visual Effects Supervisor for the project, said, "The challenge here was to create a full stadium with only 142 extras. Having only a one-day live action shoot meant that time was critical. We had to shoot locked off shots with 142 extras and then have all 142 people move to different seats within that same shot, and then repeating that procedure 5 and 6 times, per shot, so that we could panel them all in to fill the stadium. The coordination of the crew and the way in which our Visual Effects team worked was flawless due to the preparation in the days before shooting. The end result was one that gave Dailey and Associates, and their client Nestlé, everything they were expecting and more.”
Brian Hoey, the editor with Crush Editorial who worked on the spot, said, "As an editor, you thrive on projects like Baby Ruth. I was brought into the process very early on, which enabled the director, agency creatives and I to really pre-visualize the timings and angles of the pending shots, which was really helpful in heading off potential problems. After the client was comfortable with the structure of the spot, the artists at Voodoo visual effects took the spot to the highest level. The challenge of making a capacity stadium feel and look realistic is a pretty enormous task. They seemlessly composited the crowd elements in unbelieveable perfection and speed. In my opinion, Voodoo did a tremendous job."
Terry Silberman, Voodoo‘s Visual Effects Artist and Compositor, who ALSO served as Visual Effects Supervisor along with Mr. Kern on this project, explained the process behind the Baby Ruth FX: "We began work on this project after reviewing the boards with a template for which I had to create a letter of technique so we could create the crowd replication process. So I compiled a technique that would explain the procedure and help the director on how to accurately shoot this spot, but also to ensure the client that Voodoo would physically be there during the live action shoot to support the visual effects.
“There were approximately 4-6 setups per shot -- setups meaning that the extras were placed in a specific row, 15 seconds were rolled off, then the crowd was then rearranged and placed in another row. This would cause inconsistencies within each row and allow the crowd duplication process to become more seamless.”
He continues, "Once the live action footage was shot and brought to Crush, the editorial process began. As timings and selects began to come together, the information was then passed over to us at Voodoo, where our compositing began to take place. I was involved with the stabilization, keying, masks, color correction and a combination of other compositing techniques. Obviously, as there was not enough time in one day to place 140 extras in each stand or section of Dodger Stadium, I had to strategically place the groups to give the impression of ‘filling the stadium,‘ and to avoid replication within the groups."
"The sizing of the groups from front to back was crucial to ensure the realistic feel that there was depth within the stands that filled the stadium. One of our larger composites consisted of approx. 502 layers. Keep in mind that this entire spot was shot and composited in HD 1920X1080, and then down-converted to Standard Definition of 720x486. So the complexity of the composites were much greater, as HD poses more constraints when it comes to compositing, render time, layer manipulation, and just overall mobility when working with hundreds of layers. Once the composite was established, little subtleties were added to entice the consumer into believing that the commercial they were watching was actually shot that way."
"An example of our adding details to this spot included adding signs and banners, extending stadium tiers, creating and animating the Baby Ruth Jumbotron, and animating the scrolling Baby Ruth with a texture technique to ensure a look of realism, all the way down to animating the peanut being hit by the baseball player logo during the end shot. Working on this spot was not only a great treat, due to the pleasant clients we had to work with, but the challenges that occurred daily that really kept us on our toes. The outcome seen in the final spot was very rewarding and we were highly pleased to once again accomplish a hefty compositing project!"
Additional Credits for new Baby Ruth Candy spot appear below:
Dailey and Associates, Los Angeles
Creative Director: Richard Bronshvag
Executive Producer: Joe Stanley
Producer: Melissa Puls
Associate Producer: Aubrey Harms
Crush Editorial, Santa Monica
Editor: Brian Hoey
Voodoo, Santa Monica
VFX Supervisor: Chris Kern, Terry Silberman
VFX Artist & Compositor: Terry Silberman
Riot, Santa Monica
Colorist: Bob Festa
Stompbox, Santa Monica
Mixer: Paul Hurtubise
HARDWARE/SOFTWARE USED TO CREATE "COMPOSITED PEOPLE”:
Based in Santa Monica, CA, Voodoo is a leading effects company specializing in the creation, production and compositing of original visual FX for national and regional TV commercials, music videos, TV programs and feature films. The phone is 310/392-4226, and the web is: