SANTA MONICA, CA — Boutique VFX and animation studio Brickyard VFX (www.brickyardvfx.com) was recently tapped by Deutsch LA to build a fully CG environment for the new Volkswagen spot “Graph.” The spot puts the new Tiguan inside a line graph, with the line acting as a road. Dynamic animations change the road’s path and characteristics to correspond with the voiceover.
Brickyard kicked off the project with detailed previsualization in Autodesk Maya; several members of the Brickyard team were also on-set with production company Caviar to ensure a smooth shoot. Brickyard’s team of artists, led by Patrick Poulatian and David Blumenfeld, then completed tracking, stabilizing, and match-moving to align the car with the movements in the previz environment. Since the Tiguan was shot on a motion base, artists also needed to digitally replace all tires and rims. The graph environment was then designed and animated in full CG using Maya; lighting and rendering was completed in Redshift, a GPU-accelerated biased renderer.
For the road, Blumenfeld wrote a custom software tool called Roadrunner to dynamically construct and animate the road in front of the car using predefined animation parameters. This allowed artists to easily make changes without having to run dynamic simulations each time. Artists also used Thinkinetic’s Pulldownit, a Maya plugin, which generated a three dimensional Voronoi pattern for the road’s cracks and asphalt chunks.
“This was a fun spot and the combination of design, previz, and some creative post solutions helped achieve the unique concept that Deutsch and Volkswagen envisioned,” said Poulatian, Brickyard’s Lead VFX Artist on the spot. “We’ve collaborated with Deutsch on many Volkswagen and other projects over the years and it was a pleasure to work with that team again.”