(LOS ANGELES - Aug. 24, 2007) Capturing the fun, freedom and adventure of the Subaru brand, SWAY studio brings liveliness and precision to the newest Subaru Impreza commercial entitled "Peel Out," currently airing nationwide.
SWAY's team of talented visual effects artists utilized a series of high-end animation and photorealistic techniques to bring life to cars, living room spaces, magazine pages and people.
The :30 spot, which relied heavily on SWAY's computer graphics (CG) work, features photography of a young couple as they "peel" themselves from a modern magazine page, right into the driver's seat of the sophisticated Subaru Impreza. The car then races across a table and through a series of flipping magazine pages into a colorful world of twists and turns.
"We were able to implement multiple ground-breaking techniques for this project," said Chris Nichols, visual effects supervisor for SWAY. "Our advanced level of photogrammetric production methods and simulation tools allowed this amazing ride to come together in a very graphic and realistic way."
For the commercial, SWAY used a combination of hand animation and simulation to bring life to magazine pages designed by Paul McMenamin at SPINE. Special magazine rigs affected by wind were created to give accuracy to each animated page turn.
A more scientific approach was taken while creating the living room backdrop seen in the opening of the spot. By calculating the exact optical properties of the materials on a real set, Nichols' team utilized high dynamic range imaging (HDRI) to perfectly duplicate the entire space, resulting in a precise and believable photorealistic living room.
"At SWAY, we have a fresh view on how to produce visually innovative work," said Mark Glaser, owner and creative director of SWAY. "Photogrammetry is not unique to us; however, our combination of experience with this technique and the advanced tools we have created in-house, make us the place to call upon to get it done."
"I've worked with CG elements in the past, but I've never helmed a project that was so post-intensive," said the commercial's Director, Gavin Bowden, of Plum Productions. "We were looking for a high level of photorealism and the SWAY team knew exactly what to do in order to produce the perfection that was needed for this spot."
Nichols made strategic use of SWAY's proprietary Driving Simulator software to create the precise movements made by the Impreza. Instead of using traditional animation techniques, the Driving Simulator allows SWAY artists to literally get behind the wheel and drive the car on even the most challenging CG terrain, providing a more accurate and realistic motion.
A variety of off-the-shelf hardware and software was also used to complete the spot. The most prominently used tools were NVIDIA Quadro professional graphics boards, Autodesk 3ds Max for animation, Combustion for graphics, Nuke and Flame for compositing and V-Ray for rendering.
SWAY is one of the top animation, effects and design studios in North America whose aim is to advance the artistry of visual content, enabling exciting new creative ideas in any media. SWAY's world class artists use cutting edge and innovative technology to produce unforgettable imagery.
SWAY's proprietary software, the SWAY Driving Simulator has been used to create stunning visual effects and spots for Chevy, Mazda, Pontiac, Subaru, Hyundai, Hummer and Toyota. This software replicates the performance of any vehicle with complete precision.
SWAY's headquarters are located in Culver City, Calif. For additional information on SWAY studio, visit its website at www.swaystudio.com
Subaru "Peel Out" Production Credits:
Agency: DDB New York
Creative Director: Earl Cavanah
Art Director: Andy Hekimian
Copywriter: Casey Soloff
Executive Producer: Sam Milgrim
Production Company: Plum Productions
Director: Gavin Bowden
Producer: Mark Conley
Executive Producers: Beth Pearson/ Shelby Sexton
Associate Producer: Sandy Haddad
Graphic Design: SPINE
Designer: Paul McMenamin
Post: SWAY studio
VFX Supervisor: Chris Nichols
VFX producer: Erin Hicke
Coordinator: Natalie Moore
2D supervisor: Chris Bankoff
Lighting: Daniel Buck/ Rob Meyers
TD: Graham Fyffe
Motion Graphics Designer: Claudia Yi Leon
Animators: Attila Zalanyi/ Michael Walls
Compositors: Rachel Keyte/ Christian Schermerhorn
Creative Director: Mark Glaser
Head of Production: Leighton Greer