SWAY Energizes Two-Spot Campaign for Pontiac

Publish date:


– April 3, 2008 –


studio’s work on the new action-packed campaign introducing the 2008 Pontiac G8 explodes from the screen with thrilling driving action and great-looking CG environments. Currently airing nationwide, “Spy Hunter� and “Mine,� both :30-spots for Leo Burnett, Detroit, were created using SWAY’s renowned photo-real lighting techniques, as well as its secret weapon, the proprietary Drive-A-Tron™ driving simulator.

“Spy Hunter�

An homage to the classic 1983 Bally Midway arcade game, “Spy Hunter� opens with the vintage graphics and addictive theme music that captivated arcade fans over two decades ago. Under attack by a Switchblade vehicle wielding wheel-mounted tire slashers, the beloved G-6155 Interceptor is destroyed by the Mad Bomber helicopter. As the red truck pulls up to replace the hero car, a seamlessly integrated photo-real Pontiac G8 appears, races down the ramp and takes off swerving around dropping bombs and out-maneuvering enemy cars, leaving its nemeses in its dust. “After carefully studying the intricacies of the original game, it became imperative that we create a fully 3D world respectful of the game’s intense popularity,� said Mark Glaser, SWAY’s creative director, who also directed the spots. To showcase the superior performance of the G8, SWAY introduced several “close call� hazards, such as tight turns, a large water puddle and a giant explosion. SWAY’s proprietary Drive-A-Tron driving simulator, which allows for real-time, interactive, accurate and realistic automobile animation, was even programmed to include Pontiac’s StabiliTrack and anti-lock braking. This gave the CG G8 more traction control and quick stopping capability.


“Mine� showcases a beautiful virtual playground, full of high-speed twists and turns. Sharp gradients, incredible turns and a giant loop add to the excitement of the life-size Hot Wheels track. For this spot, SWAY built a sleek and modern environment in CG, where all components and lighting features were designed to appear true to real life, in an effort to create a believable event spot. It takes place inside a giant blimp hangar, which in reality would be the only location large enough to house the construction of such a track. Once the track was complete, SWAY animators, as well as the agency, were able to virtually perform all stunt driving using the Drive-A-Tron simulator. Realistically, “Spy Hunter� and “Mine� could only exist in fully CG worlds, yet it was important that the G8 could perform precisely as the actual car would. “The use of the Drive-A-Tron allowed us to create the action very efficiently and effectively,� said Chris Nichols, SWAY VFX supervisor. “The stunt driving performed by the simulator was possible due to the use of real physics simulation to achieve all the driving action, resulting in no actual animation of the G8 in either spot. This campaign really showcases just how sophisticated the Drive-A-Tron technology is.�

About Drive-A-Tronâ„¢

SWAY studio’s proprietary Drive-A-Tron™ provides a significant advantage over other studios. The driving simulator allows the reproduction of any automobile’s exact movements. 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. Drive-A-Tron has been used to create stunning visual effects and spots for Chevy, Mazda, Pontiac, Subaru, Hyundai, Hummer and Toyota.

About SWAY

SWAY is one of the top animation, effects and design studios in North America, with the aim of advancing 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 headquarters is located in Culver City, Calif. For additional information on SWAY studio, visit its website at



Pontiac G8 “Spy Hunter� and “Mine� Credit List

Advertising Agency: Leo Burnett, Detroit

Senior Producer: Jennie Hochthanner Executive Creative Director: Jeff Cruz Senior Art Director: Jesse Rea Senior Copywriter: Regina Cesarz

Production and Visual Effects: SWAY studio

Director: Mark Glaser VFX Supervisor: Christopher Nichols Compositing Supervisor: Chris Bankoff Technical Director: Graham Fyffe 3D Lead: Daniel Buck Animation Lead: Robert Glazer Look Development (“Spy Hunter�): Rob Meyers VFX Animator: Mike Walls 3D: Jeremy Jozwik, Matan Abel, Erik Fernando, Derek Blume, Steven Wang, Derek Smith Compositors: Aaron Kupferman, Hudson Shock, Christian Schermerhorn Editors: Lauren Mayer-Beug, Peter Tarter (Cutters) VFX Producer: Erin Hicke VFX Coordinator: Justin Herber

Tools Used for VFX (“Spy Hunter�):

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 Next Limit’s RealFlow

Tools Used for VFX (“Mine�):

SWAY Drive-A-Tron™ Driving Simulator Assimilate’s SCRATCH Autodesk’s 3ds Max 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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