Published on Wednesday, 30 March 2011
Cutting Edge broadcast and VFX facility got involved in the Earth Hour appeal with a TVC starring a
swarm of Bogong moths, and is revelling in their Bronze Award win at AdFest 2011.
|This year’s television commercial, produced with agency Leo Burnett, is directed by David Klaiber of Plaza Films and created by Cutting Edge’s Sydney VFX Supervisor, Hugh Seville. The brief was to “create a massive swarm of Bogong Moths”. Of course, as the Bogong is a native insect, the initial plan was to go out and capture some on camera. But the moths proved, of course, to be thin on the ground in inner city Sydney.
The Cutting Edge VFX team instead turned their talents to questions like, “How much ‘flap’ do moths really make?” Having no in-camera reference for moths but knowing that they will swarm around bright lights, Klaiber took an 18K light into a local paddock to capture reference of his unique Australian talent. Along with the location shoot as reference, moths were brought back to Cutting Edge’s Sydney studios in a large fish tank for the VFX team to study. By shooting the moths in various lighting conditions as high-resolution stills, they were able to create Australia’s first super-sized Bogong moth. Hugh Seville said, “It was a proud moment for us when the genus of moth for our commercial was born.”
Hugh knew that animating 500,000 moths would be an unrealistic feat, so the team began the task by modelling and re-texturing hero moths close to camera. The other moths were image sequences, instanced using particles created with Side Effects Houdini. “The particle work was a crucial part of the project. If their release wasn’t scaled, the moths would look like blobs with wings,” said Hugh.
Cutting Edge’s VFX Producer Jo Gregory said, “The lighting of the environment and the emergence of the swarm of moths from the ominous grey cloud, adds drama to the reveal. Viewers could even be led to believe that the influx of insects could be a swarm of bats!”
|The team has now experienced further excitement after earning a Bronze award for their Suntory Boss coffee TVC, ‘History of Human Kind’ at this year’s Pacific Advertising Festival, known as AdFest.
Cutting Edge were finalists in all entries with nominations for Coke ‘Burn’, Tooheys Extra Dry ‘Portals’ and as Bronze winner for the Suntory Boss spot.
This latest commercial for Suntory Boss tells the story of an immortal who has inhabited the earth since 10,000 BC. Again starring American actor Tommy Lee Jones this commercial is the climax to a long series of spots all featuring epic style endings. The task for Cutting Edge’s VFX team, lead by Jeff Gaunt and Ron Roberts, was to demonstrate the evolution of the earth from Woolly Mammoths, the Pyramids and the Great Wall of China all the way up to modern day Tokyo. Jeff said producing accurate visions of the various eras had required spending considerable time on R&D and analyzing historical geography and architecture. www.cuttingedge.com.au www.adfest.com