Here’s another magical tale from the wizards at MassMarket, prosthetics master Stan Winston and production company MJZ (among others). It’s such an enchanting narrative that I really don’t care that it’s an ad. It stands on its own.
Following is some inside poop from the release. Note that the hardest part of the whole process wasn’t the CG or the compositing. It was the legs.
What was MassMarketâ€™s role in the project? What was the creative brief (if there was one):
MassMarket served as VFX house. This included working closely with MJZ and Rupert Sanders to supervise the shoot and set up a plan to achieve the desired look for the cave environment and legs for the main character.
What tools/software were used?
Nothing surprising for this one. CG was done in Maya, Flame for the compositing, roto on Silhoette and Boujou for tracking.
Creatively, what did MassMarket bring to the project?
Creatively, we brought our technical expertise and eye for well integrated VFX. In the beginning of the project we had to help test and design the approach for the legs.
There were three main set-ups that we had to devise a methodology for; wide, head on shots were the hero character was walking toward us, side profile shots and closer shots. Working with MJZ and Stan Winston, Cedric (VFX Supervisor and Lead Flame artist) tested a few approaches and came up with a technique to use stilts and prosthetics for some scenes as well a little Flame ingenuity and magic to create the overall look (we wonâ€™t reveal our secrets-).
Equally, we had to think in larger scale as well for the cave sequence. Here, we wanted to create a world that would look like the center of the earth with this large bicycle rig in the center. From the start, Ruppert had a very clear vision of what he wanted with the gyroscopic rig and in pre-production his production designer created an amazing design for it.
We then had to augment that design with CG elements in order to extend the structure and create the grandness that everyone was looking for. Finally, in CG we designed and built the cave environment, capturing this dark otherworldly space.
Were there any challenges?
The legs were the biggest challenge and thus required the most up front planning and testing.