SWAY Drives Effects for Multi-Spot Toyota Corolla Campaign

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SWAY studio recently added liveliness, detail and a touch of whimsy to the 2009 Toyota Corolla campaign entitled “Through the Roof� for Saatchi & Saatchi LA. With their renowned image-based lighting and animation techniques, SWAY’s team of artists delivered over five minutes of moving live action, 2D matte painting and full 3D shots, contributing to multiple customized regional :30 second commercials as part of this modular-based national campaign. “Through the Roof� began airing in local markets across the country on Feb. 9. It features the Corolla sweeping through a striking environment of green countryside and urban landscapes on a mission to absorb available features typically found only in luxury cars: satellite radio, leather trimmed seats, an MP3 jack, Bluetooth® capability, traffic control and navigation, and more. SWAY’s computer graphics and matte painting techniques were combined with a live miniature set to create the extraordinary backdrop. “The challenge of this project was to create a balance between real and surreal,� said Chris Nichols, VFX supervisor at SWAY studio. “The directors at Buck were inspired by a miniature set, but we needed to make it appear believable on a real-world scale. SWAY’s advanced compositing, image-based lighting and animation methods were able to bring this feeling to life and further proved our ability to work with any type – or size – of environment.� Working with the miniature set, SWAY meticulously collected tracking and lighting data to ensure that each car was correctly integrated into the shot, allowing the final product to appear believable on a real-world scale. SWAY’s team then utilized their data to exactly match the camera, geometry and lighting to make certain that each car’s movements, lighting and shadows matched precisely. SWAY employed their proprietary Drive-A-Tron™ driving simulator to create the exact movements made by the Corolla. Instead of using traditional animation techniques, Drive-A-Tron allows SWAY artists to literally get behind the wheel and drive the car on even the most challenging CG terrain, creating the desired performance without compromising the reality of the driving. “The Drive-A-Tron provides SWAY a large advantage over other studios, allowing us to complete the most precise and detailed animation available,� said Mark Glaser, owner and creative director of SWAY. “Using this proprietary tool over the past three years has allowed us to perfect these difficult animation techniques making SWAY the studio to call upon for automobile animation.�

About SWAY

SWAY is one of the top animation, effects and design studios in North America whose aim is to advance the artistry of visual content, enabling exciting new creative ideas in any media. SWAY’s world class artists use cutting edge and innovative technology to produce unforgettable imagery. SWAY’s proprietary software, the SWAY Drive-A-Tron™ driving simulator has been used to create stunning visual effects and spots for Chevy, Mazda, Pontiac, Subaru, Hyundai, Hummer and Toyota. This software replicates the performance of any vehicle with complete precision. SWAY’s headquarters are located in Culver City, Calif. For additional information on SWAY studio, visit its website at


. Toyota Corolla “Through the Roof� Credit List


Creative Director: Mark Glaser VFX Supervisor: Christopher Nichols VFX Producer: Erin Hicke VFX Coordinator: Matt Johnson EP: Leighton Greer

3D Artists:

Lead Animator: Robert Glaser CG Supervisor/ Compositor: Daniel Buck TD: Graham Fyffe CG Artist: Rob Meyers CG Artist/ Compositor: Derek Smith FX Animator: Michael Walls CG Artist: Anthony Han CG Artist: Steven Wang CG Artist: Matan Abel CG Artist: Curtis Cardwell

2D Artists:

Compositing Supervisor: Chris Bankoff Compositor: Lauren Mayer-Beug Compositor: Christian Schermerhorn Paint/Roto Lead: Claudia Yi Leon Roto: Bill Schaeffer Compositor: Hudson Shock Roto: Diana Wells Compositor: Rachel Keyte Tracking: Michael Orlando Matte Painter: Deak Ferrand


Executive Creative Director: Harvey Marco Creative Director: Kevin Murphy Assoc. Creative Director/Writer: Deb Smith Assoc. Creative Director/Art Director: Mark Taylor Director of Integrated Production/Multimedia: Damian Stevens Producer: Jane Liepshutz Account Director: Vickie Stafford


Director: Buck Creative Directors: Ryan Honey, Orion Tait Producer: Nick Terzich Art Director: Thomas Schmid Associate Creative Director: Jeremy Sahlman Associate Producer: Eric Badros EP: Maurie Enochson Miniature Production: New Deal Studios Production Designer: Sean Hargreaves DP: Tim Angulo

Tools Used for VFX:

SWAY Drive-A-Tron™ Driving Simulator Assimilate’s SCRATCH Autodesk’s 3ds Max Autodesk’s Flame The Chaos Group’s PDPlayer The Chaos Group’s V-Ray The Foundry’s Nuke ###### All brand names, product names, service marks or trademarks belong to their respective holders.

For more information, press only:

Liaison Inc. Tracy Brawley,


, 503.796.9822

Reader Contact:

SWAY studio 3535 Hayden Avenue, 4th Floor Culver City, CA 90232 310.844.7000 office 310.844.7050 fax






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