The library at uni has a great collection of DVD's from Stash - a monthly DVD magazine that covers animation, vfx and motion graphics for advertising and broadcast. Not only are they the actual pieces themselves but it includes the making's of too which are always really useful. These are great because they cover a range of media and normally things that I have never seen before. All the pieces are from around the world from large companies to individual people. I borrowed one DVD out last year and recently took it out again as it is now really relevant. There were two pieces on issue 40 that really stood out for me.
The first one being the Snickers Rugby Ad - the making of found HERE. The ad itself is very dynamic and powerful which is portrayed through the large demeaning characters and their movements. The way a character is designed and moves gives the audience an instant idea to the feel of the whole piece, so with this ad it builds up the powerful tone and this is also emphasised with the music used. At the minute I think I'm more looking at the making's of to see what was involved in creating a short piece and how in that short time they are able to hook the audience in to it.
The footage itself was shot first as a back plate and then the cg elements added on top. An interesting thing to note is how some of the cg elements aren't very noticeable - at first glance you would just assume it was a real object and not a 3d model. Anything can be cg it just depends on how well you make it seamless with the real environment. I think that's the key thing when you composite cg onto live action footage, without the seamless integration you will loose the audience immediately as they will be too focused on how much it stands out and the immersion will be lost.
There is one part of the ad where one of the characters turns into a human, for this an actor used and they had to film him doing all the movements, even when it was the cg character's part this was so that they could blend the cg and the real together more easily. Props were also used as a guide to show the placement of certain cg object, this gives the actor something to react to and also a reference as to where the 3d model should end up being placed. Everything needs to line up exactly so reference points are key.
Snickers - Rugby from Spy Films on Vimeo.
The second piece I looked at was created by Joh Kuemmel. This was slightly different in the fact that he filmed all the actors against a blue screen and then added this into the 3d model / environment. The waves were actually real footage that was shot on location and then composited on top of all the cg elements. This is a different process to the Snickers ad and I think it depends on your subject matter. You have to figure out what will best suit the idea whether that is more cg models with real actors or a real environment with cg elements added within that. There are pros and cons with each and each can produce different things it's really all down to execution and the idea at hand. This short Greenpeace Rainbow Warrior would have been a lot harder to film on location so it makes sense that the majority of it is cg, yet because of it being executed to a high standard the audience may not realise that it has been created in 3d. The sound also plays a big part to sell the realistic nature of this ad because without it you would instantly know it wasn't real. Folie and sound effects need to be added on top to give that extra layer of realism and immersion. I found that out in the previous module, by creating sounds for even the most mundane things such as the ruffle of a coat you can see how much of a difference it makes, as without it, it just doesn't seem right at all.