MPC Keeps It Rolling

Category: Web Exclusives
MPC follows its visually compelling spot, computer graphics-enhanced portraying Nissan's Armada and Pathfinder vehicles flying into pieces as they move, with a similar spot promoting the innovative NV, Titan and Frontier. 

MPC LA VFX Supervisor Jake Montgomery and CG Supervisor Mike Wynd, collaborating with Skunk Director Raf Wathion and TBWA\Chiat\Day, led the team that handled 3D work, CG animation, compositing and beauty work on the spot.


Strip Away 2 features a montage of tough Nissan vehicles charging through industrial landscape and wilderness. Suddenly, fenders, grills, doors, even truck beds fly off the vehicles, until only the American-made frame remains, charging over a huge suspension bridge. 

"We wanted to create a tougher, bolder version of the original SUV-based spot," noted Wathion. "We wanted something more industrial; something that really evoked the workaday utility and rugged capability of these vehicles."

The stripping-away effect was a collaborative effort between MPC and Skunk, who first shot the trucks on set without the elements that would later be exploding off of the vehicles. Using supplied CAD models, MPC then camera-tracked and matchmoved the live-action footage to replace those missing components. 

"After the tracking and matchmoving was done, exploding the models was a fairly simple task," noted Wynd. "To make these effects seamless, the tracking and matchmoving had to be perfect, and the lighting of the CG models needed to match exactly. In some cases, we created proxy geometry of the environments to supply correct reflections and shadows for the computer-generated imagery."

MPC pulled the spot together with compositing through Autodesk’s Flame and The Foundry’s Nuke, a process that included a considerable amount of cleanup for each scene. A finishing touch on the spot included adding a spinning fan to the live-action chassis. Colorist Ricky Gausis handled telecine.


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