Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Land Rover Claynation

1.5 tons of clay was morphed, manipulated and molded over hundreds of hours to create the assets for the Land Rover Claynation campaign. There were 3 sets in total that include the main commercial set, and separate sets for the print ads and other digital elements. The crew ranged from 15 - 20 people during the production, including the art department, animators and the camera team. The main set for the broadcast spot had between 1 - 7 animators a day transforming the clay set during the shoot. Other elements, like the driver inside the car, were shot on green screen that were then composited in post. Animators were brought in from around the country that specialized in claymation.

While on set the animators had to manipulate every piece of clay that made up the buildings, roads, people, animals and trees. Every single frame changed minutely to create a landscape in perpetual movement on this waist high set. The result is a magical spot that undulates and moves smoothly and swiftly as we journey through the many environments.

Starting with 4 weeks of design and 4 weeks of fabrication of the clay elements and the car, the shoot itself included 5 pre-light days and 31 shooting days, or roughly 6 weeks of shooting. The post-production process began once the elements started coming in and lasted 3 weeks after the shooting ended. The studio had to tackle such issues as re-sizing the car during the mountain section, to compositing the driver and passenger into the live action car. The car in this section was shot in London.

The miniature Land Rover car used in the spot was built at 1:12th scale and is the only thing that didn't transform or shift. Everything else was fair game. The construction of the car began by dissecting each individual detail and modeling the parts in the computer and then printing it out with a 3D printer. The pieces were then painstakingly sanded, professionally painted, and assembled.

The assembly of the car involved rigging the steering wheel to animate from the exterior of the car and rigging all the car doors to open, including the hatch. The wheels were made to rotate and the car also had an independent suspension. The mini vehicle was also fitted with multilayered, digitally printed translucent practical headlights. The headlights you see in the spot were digitally enhanced, but began as a lit element

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