Method artists create a world of dancing robot armies and hamsters for Kia Soul
Los Angeles, CA - Renowned visual effects company
completed work on a new commercial, "
," developed by Kia Motors America (KMA)'s advertising agency of record,
, introducing the significantly refreshed 2012
. The VFX-heavy spot debuted during the
. Featuring the wildly popular hamsters from previous Kia commercials, the new spot also features two sets of robot armies engaging in a fantastic dance battle to
's ubiquitous club smash "
." Working with acclaimed director Mark Romanek, Method Studios took
's designs and created the dancing robot armies as well as the spot's desolate environment.
In addition to taking on the challenge of creating an all-CG world with all-CG characters, Method had to complete the job in a very tight time frame. "The scope and ambition of this spot was definitely challenging considering the extensive amount of CG required in a short time," said VFX Supervisor Nordin Rahhali. "There were a lot of full CG shots as well as plenty of character animation and motion capture." Method's extensive experience with CG creatures and photorealistic fur was crucial to the succcess of the spot. Dancers in practical suits were filmed for the hamster scenes. The hamsters' heads, hats and hands were all replaced and recreated in CG. A two-person team created the fur and handled all the lighting and rendering for the hamsters, which is a testament to the efficency of the Method creature pipeline. Motion capture was used to create the robot armies' dance moves, which were further refined to make the dancers look more robotic. Most of the environment was comprised of digital matte paintings projected within Nuke to allow for limited camera movements. The spot was rendered in Maya through Renderman. Lighting was done through Maya as well. Effects were completed in Houdini. The hamsters were rendered in Houdini and Mantra. Compositing was done in Nuke, with a few shots composited in Flame. Tracking was completed in Synth Eyes and 3D Equalizer (everything shot on-set was captured using two camera and 6-8 matchmove artists worked on the spot). Texturing was done in MARI.
co-founder/colorist Stefan Sonnenfeld and fellow colorist Dave Hussey performed color grading for the spot. The team was thrilled to work with Romanek. "It was exciting working with Mark," offered Rahhali. "He had a lot of ideas and he gave us a lot of great feedback. We faced many challenges, but it was gratifying to successfully collaborate with him on this project." Senior VFX Supervisor Dan Glass added, "you couldn't ask for anything more out of a VFX-heavy project. Aliens, robots, dancing hamsters - there's something for everyone. I hope we get to do a sequel." CREDITS Title: Share Some Soul Client: Kia Agency: David&Goliath Chief Creative Officer: David Angelo Executive Creative Director: Colin Jeffery Creative Director: Steve Yee Senior Copywriters: Greg Buri, JC Abbruzzi Senior Art Directors: Basil Cowieson, Tim Delger Executive Producer, Managing Director: Carol Lombard Executive Producer: Paul Albanese Producer: Jennifer Mersis Production Company: Anonymous Content Director: Mark Romanek Snr VFX supervisor/Anonymous Content: Brad Parker Director of Photography: Jeff Cutter EP/Production: SueEllen Clair Line Producer: Suzie Greene Tedesco Choreographers: Rich+Tone PreViz: Pixel Liberation Front Motion Capture: House of Moves Editing House: Union Editorial Editors: Jim Haygood Executive Producer: Megan Dahlman Telecine: Company 3 Colorist: Stefan Sonnenfeld Colorist: Dave Hussey Sound Designer: Brian Emrich Audio Mix: Eleven Mixer: Jeff Payne Editorial: Union Editorial Editor: James Haygood Visual Effects: Method Studios Senior VFX Supervisor/Creative Director: Dan Glass VP,Production/Senior Executive Producer: Gabby Gourrier Head of Production: Stephanie Gilgar VFXSupervisor: Nordin Rahhali VFXProducer: Mike Wigart CG Supervisor: Charles Abou Aad CG Supervisor (Hamsters): Andy Boyd Animation Supervisor: Mike Warner Compositing Supervisor: Chris Bankoff Lighting Lead: Matthew Maude Flame Lead: Noah Caddis
About Method Studios
Based in Los Angeles, with locations in New York, Vancouver and London, Method Studios is a leading post production facility providing a full range of visual effects services including conceptual design, look development, 3D animation/CGI, matte painting, compositing and finishing. Method Studios also provides an array of services to stereoscopic film productions, including the creation of stereo 3D content. Method's sister company, Company 3, maintains a full stereoscopic color-grading suite in the same building as Method's Los Angeles facility, most recently used for Disney's "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides." Method Studios is wholly-owned by Deluxe Entertainment Services Group Inc.