May 14, 2008

HRA Combines CG, Live Action in iglü Commercial

HRA has just completed an iglü commercial for ad agency, Bray Leino, using a combination of CG and live-action. The spot opens on a CG penguin battling against the North Pole wind to get inside his protective igloo. A man dressed like an Eskimo enters the frame, explaining how iglü gel protects and heals mouth ulcers in the same way that an igloo provides a protective layer.

As he holds the pack in his hand, it neatly lines up with the igloo behind him. The commercial then cuts to the “science bit” which continues the igloo theme by demonstrating an ulcer that’s protected by an igloo-like layer. The spot ends with the penguin getting blown onto his igloo and sticking fast whilst the actor says: “effective protective relief that sticks fast.”


HRA director, Jerry Hibbert, shot the actor as live action in a setting removed from the North Pole, a studio in Wimbledon. The actor was shot against a white screen so that the fur of his hood would not need keying in post. Some snow was also shot in-camera but the majority was added in postproduction.


The igloo and penguin were developed and animated using Autodesk Maya 8.5. A normal diffuse shader was used with a scattering effect to simulate the multiple ice particles that comprise snow. The lighting setup was based on actual physics and matches the exposure of the live action camera. The effects were done in Adobe After Effects and Autodesk Combustion.


The most challenging part of the project was keeping the pack still but held in the actor¹s hand. The solution was to use a magnetic rig, removed in post and replaced by the actor¹s gloved hand, which was of course moving. Not a huge headache normally but given budgetry constraints this required some very kind compositors!


HRA director, Jerry Hibbert, says: "This was a really enjoyable job because it mixes technical challenges with gentle humor, whilst working for a nice client.”


Project: iglü

Title: iglü it

Air Date: 6 May 2008

Agency: Bray Leino

Creatives: Ruth Perrin

Agency Producer: Elli Hutton

Production Company: HRA

Director: Jerry Hibbert

Producer: Alex Jennings/Charlotte Loynes, Greg Mills

Director of Photography: Peter James

Character Modeling: Mark Massey

Animator: Mark Massey

Supervising Animator: Shaun Magher

Texture & Lighting TD: Alex Copley

Demo sequence graphics: Peter Holmes

Compositing: Kim Burdon