The Citroen Transformer Thing, nobrain Style


You may have already caught French studio nobrain’s Citroen spot “Mutation” on Feed, but I think it’s worthy of repeat viewing. Not only is it gorgeously rendered and artfully animated, it’s a great re-visioning of the transformer concept that The Embassy Visual Effects introduced to the world almost two years ago and that has been ripped/replayed/reinterpreted countless times since.

If you’ve never checked out nobrain‘s work, there’s no time better than now. Their site is decidedly 1999, but the work is consistently top notch.

About the author

Justin Cone

Together with Carlos El Asmar, Justin co-founded Motionographer, F5 and The Motion Awards. He currently lives in Austin, Texas with is wife, son and fluffball of a dog. Before taking on Motionographer full-time, Justin worked in various capacities at Psyop, NBC-Universal, Apple, Adobe and SCAD.



There were some shots that look fantastic (especially at the beginning), but there were others that looked awkward. A friend of mine said the car looked a bit shoe-like during some of the transformations.

My main problem with spots like this is the lack of realism. Good FX requires a little bit more finesse with the texturing and rendering. It’s just not photoreal enough.


I’ll agree that some shots looked strange in terms of transformation. However, I don’t think the spot lacks realism. The highlights are pretty damn good considering the only real source of light is an area light above, and the reflections, refractions, and dof look good.


I still like that transforming Bug from 4 or so years ago..

And the new Citroen ad, I think is quite stunning… Working on getting my skills to that level…


cool, saw this over at FEED… nice spot


The transformation is nice, but the car looks really boring when the transformation is complete. The lines and design of the transformed elements are completely different from the resulting car’s lines and design. So the climax of the transformation is the transformation itself, not the car. I don’t think that’s a good way to advertise a car. ;-)


I agree with widescape. This is a really nice looking spot, but a lightbulb doing an alien transformation to a minivan is odd. If it were ending as a sculptural object or some high tech gizmo, it’d make more sense to me.

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