'Behind the scenes'
Commissioned by Cogent Elliott Meridon to produce a 3D animation for Calor Gas' latest ‘LPGenius’ campaign, the ‘Think Tank’. Promoting the benefits of off-mains gas for rural homes and businesses, the script called for a 30 sec single camera fly-around of a house set in a typical English village and integrated with 2D info-graphics to support the narrative.
We teamed up to co-direct the commercial with award winning Director, Yoav Segal and illustrator Blake Evans. Whilst co-directing, we worked closely with Yoav to optimise the script to fit all the key information into the 30 seconds without jeopardising the creative potential of the ad. We shared a very clear vision for the campaign, which allowed our design development and styling of the ad to be maximised by our 3D capabilities and also strengthen Calors brand values – even under tight deadlines and budget pressures.
By utilising our existing 3D assets and combining them with time-saving techniques such as camera mapping and matte painting, we were able to maximise the level of detail and information in the ad, without restricting ourselves creatively. When a client is new to a CGI workflow, especially on a 3D production it can be easy for them to feel detached from the process, but for the smooth running of the production and success of finished ad, it was important for them to be involved throughout and this is something we always actively encourage. CGI can be very flexible, but it also has certain boundaries and if key decisions are not made at the right times, it could impact on the overall job. Our REALWorld Rendering™ pipeline was perfect for walking the client through the production in our five-stage process. It makes it very easy to for them to understand where their job is at within the production stage whilst allowing them to give specific feedback at the right stages. It was important for us to plan out the pre-production stage thoroughly and crack the design and styling of the Calor 'world’. Everything from colour palettes and lighting moodboards, detailed garden and landscape vegetation, to concept designs for the house, truck, button, info-graphics were developed. We went through numerous revisions of storyboarding, 2D animatics and 3D pre-viz, consolidating all the key narrative from the script and timed it out, exploring various camera moves and angles, to ensure a fluid continuity to the storytelling and seamlessly introduce the technical information in a visually clear and interesting way to the viewer.One continuous camera is great for holding the viewers attention and enhancing the experience of the journey. However, the single camera also has it's own difficulties, especially when there's so much detailed vegetation and literally billions of polygons! Camera mapping and matte painting were used to good effect to create the surrounding village. Understanding the fundamental principles of lighting and perspective are key to seamlessly integrating the 2D mattes into the 3D environment. With our own extensive image library and in-house photographic studio, we have scope to build whatever matte-paintings are required. This expertise was essential on Calor when it came to changing the same daytime ‘matte’ into the night scene, using colour and tonal corrections only.
Combining all our experience and in-house resources, we were able to produce a very dynamic and creative piece, abundant with detail in its design, but very much driven by Calors products and services and the clear benefits the product could offer their customers. “Having Taylor James on board throughout the project had a very notable impact on the overall creative vision of the brief. We were able to directly envision our initial creative ideas and more nearly realise our branding objectives by having a close working relationship with their creative team. Their creative direction allowed for us to determine the best possible technique to achieve the concept of the brief. Using CGI, we found we had more control over the project and the ability to edit the detail that we wouldn’t have had had with a live action production of the ad. The whole process was easier to manage than a full shoot which for cost reasons would have also been challenging in the UK. I feel happy with the results which delivered strongly against our repositioning objectives and feel the high quality production values represent the Calor brand.” Sarah Haythonthwaite Head of Marketing, Calor Gas.
PRE-PRODUCTION / VEGETATION STUDY
PRE-PRODUCTION / STORYBOARD
PRODUCTION / GARDEN DESIGNS
PRODUCTION / FIELD ENTRANCE
PRODUCTION / INTRO MODELING
PRODUCTION / INTRO GRASS TEST
PRODUCTION / INTRO GRASS TEST
PRODUCTION / ANIMATION DEVELOPMENT
PRODUCTION / HOUSE SHAKE TEST
POST-PRODUCTION / COLOUR GRADE