Magic Touch
August 1, 2011

Magic Touch

For the artists at Dashing, magic doesn't seem so mysterious. This is proven true in a 60-second spot for Hyundai, produced in collaboration with past live-action partner, OPC, for Innocean Worldwide.
"Magic Wand" stars a band of four buddies who discover a magic wand on the side of the road. They immediately conjure up a Hyundai Accent, and the crew launches into an urban adventure. The wand is used to change red stoplights to green, transport food-bearing waiters into their car, make the guitar-strumming hula girl on their dashboard come to life, and transport one lucky bachelor into another Hyundai full of attractive females.

Dashing worked with OPC Director Clay Weiner to fulfill Innocean's vision for the project, creating magic effects that were succinct, even believable in their simplicity of execution.

"Our main challenge was creating magical appearing/disappearing effects that were simple and accessible," noted creative lead (Flame) Rob Moggach. "It was imperative that we create a magical effect that didn't suffer from the usual stereotypes of glowing stardust and overly processed digital work. It had to feel real."

 After painting clean plates, Moggach used subtle warping of the image combined with interactive lighting effects to create smooth transitions and transformations that feel more like sleight of hand than digital effects.


With a demanding schedule, Dashing completed the magic effects and extensive car cleanup work throughout the spot in just two days, using a streamlined workflow that relied on Autodesk Flame instead of more time-consuming CGI or even rotoscoping. "Innocean was nervous about their tight schedule, but we pushed ourselves to deliver the promised effects on eight shots, and Rob was determined to also balance the car's aesthetic throughout the spot," said Dashing EP Danielle Lyons. "It was refreshing to work with Clay, who brought a more narrative and comedy-focused experience to a traditional car spot. He trusted Rob's instinct for the effects work and had a good intuition for how the VFX would play out and what to shoot, despite a demanding two-day shoot schedule."

Anchored by creative director Rob Moggach, executive producer Danielle Lyons, and a team of top digital artists, Dashing thrives on handling unconventional projects with demanding creative and technical challenges.

Check out the commercial in our video center!