Special Effects

The Kitchen.

Most people never realize just how much work goes into producing a TV commercial. For the most part what we see, if we are fast-forwarding over them, is the fifteen-second edit of the original sixty-second spot. They whiz by in a blip sandwiched between other ads that blend into a seamless stream of no one paying attention. But occasionally someone posts a video showing how things get done.

Have you ever wondered how they match the 3D animations to live action footage? Blend shots together? What the total production of a video looks like?  The video below for Canal+ shows you. No it doesn’t go into any lengthy detailed VFX breakdown, but it does give you a pretty solid idea of what it took to produce the promotional spot titled “The Kitchen”.

The finished sixty second spot

How they made it.

Antartik.

Sometimes the simplest looking things, can be the most complex to produce. The video below is one of them. This features a blend of live action, animation, and stop motion, but the real magic is the seamless editing that took place to pull this off. This TV commercial is for Antartik, a new line of notebooks for Liderpapel. Directed and animated by Lucas Zanotto for BBDO and Passion Pictures London it really demonstrates the attention to detail and craft need to pull this off. There is no mention of an editor in the Vimeo credits so I’m going to assume it is Zanotto. After you watch it, do yourself a favor and scrub the through the video to see the change points.

Fast Romantics and Fred Astaire Dance on the Ceiling.

I don’t post music video stuff very often. Music videos get a ton of exposure and mostly people are interested in the band and not what it took to put the video together. The video below from Fast Romantics is an exception. Taking quite possibly is Fred Astaire’s most famous dance scene (1951’s Royal Wedding) where Astaire dances on the walls and ceiling of his hotel room, director Matthew Angus seamlessly blends the original footage with the new shots. If you haven’t seen the original sequence, I have added it below as well. This is absolutely fantastic.

Behind the Scenes of “Fable”.

By now most people have seen or read about the ads that were featured on Super Bowl Sunday. While there wasn’t anything all that mind blowing, there were some spots that really entertained, one of them being the Mercedes-Benz Tortoise and Hare “Fable” commercial for the AMG GTS.

Both the commercial and the making of are below. It’s the making of/behind the scenes video that interests me. When I first saw the spot, I thought the entire piece was CG. I had no idea that there was any live footage blended in. Since all the animals are CG I simply figured the car and the environment were digitally created as well. I was wrong. When you watch the behind the scenes video, you see just how much actual footage was blended in with the digital components, and its really pretty impressive. Director Robert Stromberg and his crew did a masterful job of creating a visually stunning spot for Mercedes-Benz.