London - Golden Square has just completed three months of intense 3D to deliver a collection of stunning launch films for the new-generation 2012 Ford Focus through brand communications agency, Imagination.
Launched at the Detroit Motor Show, the films see the car leaving a parking lot at dawn to begin its journey into a stylized modern city. As it maneuvers through the streets, the car's energy invigorates and enlivens
the city and people within it.
The decision to base the films entirely in a 3D environment, save for the people who were shot against green screen, was not only due to the car model being at the prototype stage but also to allow for the creative freedom to fully explore the 'wide open space' and 'big idea' of the project.
The director, Dan Capstick, came to Golden Square with the films mapped out thoroughly on storyboards. Several weeks were spent crafting a detailed previz to prove the 45 shots were dynamic enough to involve the viewer in the driving experience. It also helped establish a modular approach to building the city. Golden Square's 3D team - headed by Sean Elliott and Edward Dawson-Taylor - set about building the environments, using the director's brief of contemporary modern architecture with sleek clean lines
and lots of glass as a starting point.
The overall look was required to be stylised, bold and graphic but with the hero - the car - moving in a natural way. So Golden Square used Craft Animations' plug-in, Director Studio, as a car rig simulator to create realistic driving and camera moves.
Each shot was rendered in up to 40 passes to enable ultimate compositing control in Flame. Such rendering gave the Flame team enough latitude with which to efficiently create the correct balance of 2D effects such as
interior lighting reveals and colour correcting.
In total, Golden Square created 270-seconds of 3D animation in just 12 weeks. Rendering such a huge volume of data in a relatively limited time proved the project's biggest challenge, and where possible, half HD (720p) movies were outputted for review purposes before final delivery of full HD for the Detroit and subsequent shows.
Golden Square's 3D artist, Edward Dawson-Taylor, says: "This was an enormous undertaking and it wouldn't have been possible if we didn't have such a close working relationship with our client. But by communicating well and being on the same page idea's wise, we managed to deliver on budget and a
piece that everyone is very happy with".
Damian Ferrar, Director of Digital at Imagination, says: "Clients rely on Imagination to create original and compelling experiences. Having made the decision to collaborate with Golden Square, we successfully created a film which drew in the crowds at the Detroit Auto Show."
Product: Ford Focus C346
Title: 'Teaser' Film
Post Production: Golden Square
VFX Producer: Gil James
3D Leads: Sean Elliott, Edward Dawson-Taylor
3D Artists: Purvez Amirali, Giancarlo Bonati, Jiyoung Lee, Adam Lindsey,
Lead Flame: Tim Rudgard, Harry Jarman
Flame: Fasa Oyibo, Andrew Curtis, Alex Candlish
Creatives: Will Case, Jamie Gladstone and Paul Mackay
Agency Producer: Martin Corcoran
Production Company: Imagination
Director: Dan Capstick
Editor: Gary Dalal
Music/Audio: Radium Audio Ltd