• Australian effects house, Cutting Edge VFX recently completed a series of distinctive commercial spots for leading car manufacturers: Suzuki, Ford and Mitsubishi, using REALVIZ' automatic tracking software, MatchMover 2.5 Professional. Filmed against an array of stunning scenic backdrops in Australia, Cutting Edge have successfully created a seamless mix of CG and real-life elements, showcasing each of the featured vehicles to maximum effect.

    The first of these commercials, for Antonio Saraceno and Asatsu Tokyo, entitled Mitsubishi "Observatory", features an impressive CGI city fly-thru, numerous composites, and a number of 3D digital matte paintings, which required input from a diverse section of the facility's vfx team, and was filmed in a number of Australian locations, including arid desert scenes, a yacht race, and in and around Melbourne city. Early in the spot a camera flies above a modern city, before descending seamlessly down past the high-rise buildings, landing in a street as the hero, Pajero, drives toward the viewer and into camera. VFX Supervisor, David Peers, oversaw the filming of effects plates, and created initial tests for the mapping and reflection techniques required to create the photo real camera move into the city. Elements for the shot were gathered on the location shoot in Melbourne, and from an aerial shoot above the city. The live action portion at the end of the shot where the car drives into camera was tracked in REALVIZ MatchMover Professional, and then seamlessly integrated into the rest of the move.

    The visual treatment of the TVC's final sequence was design by digital matte painter Dan Cox, and featured a series of dramatic helicopter shots around the Pajero as it ascended an isolated outback ridge. After 3D tracking of the shots with REALVIZ MatchMover Professional, the effects team added an observatory perched at the top of the hill, as well as banks of fog into low lying areas of the surrounding terrain and replaced the sky with dimensional layers of cloud. The final shot involves a beauty frame of the Pajero with a time-lapse night sky and full-length observatory in the background, the sky and building created entirely with matte painted elements.

    Cutting Edge also recently completed the post-heavy Suzuki "Aerios" TVC for Tony Saraceno. The 30-second spot had every one of its shots created as a composite of live action, CGI and design elements, all geared toward an epic science-fiction visual theme. The car itself was filmed in a series of dynamic camera moves, sweeping over and exploring from a variety of angles, with all other elements created by the design team at Cutting Edge.

    The spot opens with a flared-out view across a foreign planet, and a comet shooting past camera toward its surface. The camera pulls back to reveal the panorama as a view through the windscreen of a car, and the comet transforms subtly into the electronic speedometer on the dashboard. The camera then turns in a continuous move to float around the interior features of the car as an asteroid field tears by outside. In continuing action, the camera then travels through the chassis of the vehicle to reveal the full car amidst a massive stellar environment. Design was planned around giving the spot a sci-fi movie feel- the client had collected sequences from a number of epic space films that they felt reflected the mood of the piece, and the Cutting Edge team evolved ideas from this starting point. The team referenced footage of zoetropes, nineteenth century inventions in which a series of images are rotated past a vertical slit to form a moving sequence, whose kaleidoscopic effects acted as the basis for the surreal background textures. Also referenced were a number of astronomy resources, such as NASA 's photo library, and imagery shot from the Hubble telescope.

     

    To commence effects work, each live action plate of the car was tracked in 3D in REALVIZ MatchMover Professional, to allow for seamless dimensional background replacement. The backgrounds themselves were also created in 3D, and included stars, comets and asteroids, as well as more design-oriented textural elements and energy effects. A team of rotoscopers worked to isolate the car in all of its shots, and to clean up any unwanted reflections visible from the location shoot.

    In the latest TVC for Zoom Film & TV for Ford Ute, entitled, "Looks Powerful", two fun loving guys are driving their utility through the Australian outback. One of them checks the rear view mirror and sees that the police are pursuing them. Although they're doing nothing wrong, the numbers of police increase, and soon there's a mile long caravan of police vehicles in pursuit, plus a swarm of police helicopters overhead. It turns out that the Ute they are driving looks so impressive that the police find it hard to believe they won't unleash its power! Director Mark Toia helmed the project, commencing production with a location shoot in outback Queensland. The shoot included over 20 police cars and 2 helicopters. VFX Supervisor David Peers was on location to gather the various measurements and plates required to create the hundreds of vehicles that would be required in the final shots.

    Many of the shots involved the duplication of cars and helicopters to create the swarms of police in pursuit. But some of the most subtle and important effects work involved recreating sections of the outback landscape to make use of the location feasible. Australian broadcasting laws require a separate roadway when cars are filling both lanes of a road (as the hundreds of police cars would), and a separate road didn't exist at the preferred location. Instead, the Cutting Edge team set to work creating a second roadway digitally. The first step in creating the second roadway was to create a 3D track of the scene using REALVIZ MatchMover Professional. Artist Tim Jones created the match and added a number of marker objects to the scene for other animators to work with. Road and sign elements painted by Art Director Daniel Cox were integrated into the CG scene by 3D Supervisor Andy Monks, and positioned according to specific instructions from the director. Because the match move gave a perfect replica of the scene, signs and details could be added, timed and positioned wherever required. Cutting Edge VFX is soon to embark on a new effects-intensive spot for Visa under Toia's direction

    Final results for all 3 commercial spots
    Cutting Edge VFX
    REALVIZ

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