May 18, 2007

Clear 3D Team Produces Grungy Viral for Lucozade and M&C Saatchi

London - M&C Saatchi’s script for Lucozade graphically leads viewers to the inner workings of a runner’s body to illustrate how the sport drink fuels the muscles, hydrates the body, and focuses the mind. Clear (postproduction) built the entire spot for the agency and its client, GSK, assuming the roles of production company, director, and (of course) post house.
The 50-second script was realized entirely in 3D, balancing the need for an overall stylized and grungy look against the need for sharp, realistic 3D which was crucial to conveying the parts of the story that involved the runner’s internal organs.
The biggest challenge for Clear’s 3D team was in developing the grungy look. The agency creatives requested that it had an edgy photocopy look, rather than the usual 3D sleekness. Yet the internal organs needed to look sharp.
The 3D had to be built using motion capture, which gives a sharp look, so the degrading process was tricky. If the project were for conventional broadcast, the 3D team would have opted for Tinderbox Newsprints in Adobe After Effects in order to achieve this grungy style. But, being a viral project, details needed to stand-up at low-res. When the Tinderbox effects were downsized to viral resolution, the details became too small and certain distant shots caused aliasing issues. So, instead, the character was developed using stills from the creatives’ initial reference, which were run through a Photoshop plug-in called Photocopy.
The results were texture mapped onto the character and rendered out as multiple passes (including stark shadows and additional passes for details like T-shirt ruffles). In fact, up to 40 Softimage XSI passes were built for each element so that the Clear’s Flame artist, Rob Walker, had plenty of options to choose from when putting it all together.
The skin textures for the hydration sequences were developed using a displacement map to give a more realistically uneven surface. The hair was generated using simple hair geometry and refining it with Hair in XSI. The sweat droplets were again based on simple geometry, but further developed with wave deformers, refractive surface passes, plus sweat mattes, reflection, and occlusion passes to give coloring options in flame. 
Product: Lucozade Sport with Caffeine Boost
Title: Fuel / Hydration / Focus
Airdate: 1st June 2007
Post Production: CLEARVFX
Producer: Hiba Hidad
3D: Jonny Grew, Cristobal Infante, Andi Farhall, Chris Lumsdale, Adam Seeley
Flame: Rob Walker
Agency: M&C Saatchi
Creative Director: Graham Fink
Creatives: Tristan Cornelius, Joe Miller
Agency Producer: Ben Catford
Account Director: James Joice
Brand Manager @ GSK: Adam Prentice